See: August Greene release video for Optimistic ft. Brandy

IN the pantheon of super-groups, August Greene has to be up there somewhere. Consisting of Golden Globe, GRAMMY, Academy Award winning activist, actor and artist Common, four-time GRAMMY Award winning pianist/producer Robert Glasper, and drummer/producer extraordinaire Karriem Riggins, the three are about to release their debut self-titled album as an Amazon Original on March 9th.

Ahead of that they’ve released a video for their version of the Sounds of Blackness cover which features soul superstar Brandy. It’s super smooth soulful R’n’B with a heavy dose of gospel, and Brandy’s vocal drapes itself over the jazz infused backing (check out Riggens’ drumming. Unreal touch), while Common adds his lyrical skills in his own inimitable way. Filmed in Jackson, Mississippi over Martin Luther King Day weekend, the accompanying video features the Jackson-area activists Hollis Watkins, Frankye Adams Johnson, Dr. Cindy Ayers Elliott, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, and the Maddrama Performance Group.

“Optimism is the fuel drives all survival strategies,” says the video’s director B+. “Being optimistic is a faith that things must get better. I remembered over Christmas reading an article by Robin DG Kelley about Jackson, Mississippi. It inspired me deeply. The notion of folks building community over longer periods, keeping focussed on the local especially when the national fails and following in the narratives passed to us by previous generations seemed so profound. The work of Chokwe Lumumba, and now his son and the larger community around them is deep, heartfelt and sincere something we can all aspire to. As Kelley says, ‘So I propose that we turn away from the latest celebrity death match, and turn our attention to Jackson, Mississippi.’”

Check it out, here

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