I’m a firm believer that all music has the ability to be protest music–even if it doesn’t feature still images of BLM protesters in the street. With that in mind, LA-based Elle E.D.’s latest, “Melanin Drip,” walks a fine line between revolutionary and steeped-in-the-1990s camp. Under someone else’s guidance, this could’ve easily become a game of “I understand that reference” and the importance of the message could’ve been lost.
Thankfully, that’s not the case here.
Instead, the end result of “Melanin Drip” is a bombastic attack on those who wish to neuter the Black experience to fit into a checklist or erase it entirely. The video’s ’90s love comes out in full force, in the shots used (some mimic older videos, some mimic ’90s TV and movies) and amplifies this message of Black lives mattering without parroting some of the same talking points we’ve seen in some pro-Black protest music in the last half-decade. That said, yes, there are “don’t touch my hair” moments, but it flows from that right into discussions on macroaggressions and police brutality and how even microaggressions can add up and make for some pretty precarious situations for Black individuals.
The whole song is a vibe, though. I hate using that term. That said, there’s no real way to say “oh, this song blends protest music and a party energy into a coherent and beautiful mix” without using “vibe” somewhere along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, from the frantic nature of the video down to what the song actually said. Check out the visuals below and remember to support dope music in all its forms.