In Solange Knowles’ new album, “A Seat At The Table,” the singer opens up with “Rise,” an intro that sets her album’s sultry Sade-eque tone. If you are a fan of her older sister Beyoncé, then this may not be the album for you since there are no songs that make you want to get up and hit the dance floor. This is the type of soulful music you just nod your head to while contemplating life. This is the type of music you listen to when you want to meditate and relax. In fact, she doesn’t belt out her vocals like her sister at all, but, that doesn’t mean her vocals are less powerful. There’s something enigmatic about how subdued she maintains her sound throughout the entire album, while addressing various issues of black culture.
The song that stood out to us is “Don’t Touch My Hair,” which is about embracing your own individual style. “Don’t touch my hair, when it’s the feelings I wear,” she softly coos. “Don’t touch what’s there/When it’s the feelings I wear,” she continues. The song is not just about hair; hair is symbolic of the full on identity of being black overall from the color of one’s skin to body shape. However, many have been identifying with the song’s title, since it does bring light to the very sensitive subject of black hair.
Let’s remember when Giuliana Rancic made the now infamous joke about actress Zendaya when she wore dreadlocks to the Oscars during Fashion Police saying, “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil … or weed.” Rancic later apologized, but the fact remains that the comment was made due to stereotypes associated with dreads. Plus, the fact that it was meant to be a joke, makes one question, why is black hair something to poke fun at? There are various labels put upon black women who chose to wear their hair in its natural state, whether it be a protective hair style or full on afro. “Don’t Touch My Hair” is empowering because it’s an anthem that stands up for embracing black individuality and loving the beauty that comes with it. Check out the music video for the song below.