Quietly — since almost all artistic acts happen quietly now that we’re all synced up to the same 5 stories for 24 hours at a time, day in, day out — last week, De La Soul released And The Anonymous Nobody, their first full album in 11 years. It’s pretty wonderful. And how it begins is with a little piece of audio theatre, entitled “Genesis,” wherein an MGM-style, old timey movie string section swells under a woman’s voice who says, among other things, this:
“When do you think it’s time to love something the most, child? When it’s successful, and they’ve made everything easy for us? That ain’t the time at all. It’s when it’s reached its lowest and you don’t believe in it anymore. And the world’s done kicked it in its tale and it’s lost itself. Yes. That’s when. When nobody cares. That’s right.”
It sounds like some wild head trip sequel to The Wiz where the gang come back to warn us about “virality,” but it’s not. Rather, that would be the voice of premiere Black Lily/Philly alum Jill Scott, and it may be — just these few seconds — our favorite thing she’s ever done. The delivery is all theatre nerd DGAF, her speaking voice pours like honey, and the words themselves, why, damned if they aren’t speaking to every one of us right now about so many things that it’s hard to choose just one. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe it’s everything.