(Ed. Note: In celebration of the original Team DAR reuniting on NXMBXRS, I will be taking a look at a few of my favorite Team DAR songs in the leadup to NXMBXRS’ release on May 9th. Today, we will take a look at the song “Green Light.”)
It’s both wild and maddening to think that Team DAR’s Exodus is six years old.
It’s wild because True, Apollo, Ax and myself have grown so much in that time span. From Juke Joints to greatness, in many ways, wasn’t just an album subtitle. We went from performing at Towson and UMD open mics to the DAR name being synonymous with great music.
However, it’s maddening to think that, six years later, we’re still dealing with some of the same things on a grand scale. Yes, we’ve gotten rid of the previous administration, but Black people and other people of color are still being targeted. It’s something we touched on throughout the Exodus song “Green Light.”
If I recall correctly, this was one of the first songs we finished for Exodus in our former engineer’s studio/studio apartment. True, Apollo or Ax can let me know if I’m wrong. It was one of the last times I drank as well. For those who may remember, my early DAR days were “highlighted” by drunken nights, studio sessions and me being relatively volatile. In short, I was an asshole, even though I had more good days than bad. The fact that DAR stuck with me when I was like that, that’s how I knew they were my brothers.
Back to the song, for “Green Light,” we all wanted to give four different takes on the idea that we’ve got to keep pushing. True took up the role as an elder statesman, Ax took the role of the younger visionary and Apollo took the role of the intellectual. Though I was a bit intoxicated when I said “fuck your sheets, fuck your burning cross, and fuck your savagery,” this track for me was a sobering moment. It felt like Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami, coming to terms with the fact that all music is a protest song in some way, shape or form.
Where I came into the fold on the track was with a “my life matters, though I’m not Black Lives Matter” verse. This moment set up a lot of my following tracks, such as 2016’s “The Revolution’s Coming” from The Sorest Loser. From 2015 onward, I grew more and more disillusioned with the Black Lives Matter group. Though my faith in the concept of showing Black lives matter remained (and remains) unwavering, my desire to be lumped in with BLM dissipated fairly quickly. Instead, I became a mix between uplifting while still being ready and willing for conflict. I remembered that just protesting with signs wouldn’t solve anything–nor would senseless bloodshed from any side of the argument.
I opted to protest with my words, my music and my money. To this day, that fact about me remains unchanged. While a lot of things have changed in the six years since Exodus first hit DSPs, some have stayed the same. One of those things is that, even in 2021, it’s still DAR Business when I speak; now, it’s more Elite than once thought.
Here’s to more life, more music and more NXMBXRS.