I first came in contact with Chicago-by-way-of-DC artist Terry Blade with his smooth “Silent Treatment.” The best way to describe it is imagine Frank Ocean over Amy Winehouse-esque production. It’s bombastic, but still very emotional and discusses the darkness that can come from a relationship that’s on the rocks. It also discusses plans to move on–that is, until Blade falls back into the pattern (and eventually leaves it behind).
While not the proper intro to Neo Queer, Blade’s song was how I found out about the album. The album itself gives me some serpentwithfeet vibes in that it’s still bombastic, but there’s an undercurrent of emotions throughout the “I’m here; accept my music and my story” energies. Plus, his vocals aren’t silky smooth. Instead, they’ve got a bit of a mix between SWF, Frank and Meshell Ndegeocello and a teeny tiny bit of Gil Scott-Heron’s pained-but-beautiful vocalism. The same can be said about his production throughout the album. It’s simple at points, but just complex enough that you’re engrossed with the whole package and want to know how things end up going.
The album itself has a spoken word sort of feel to it. A key example of this is “Eaten Alive,” where Blade employs a bit of a Kendrick flow for part of the song, while the sung part gives us pain and anguish while dealing with being Black in 2022. That mix of singing and rap-esque tendencies makes the album even more powerful, as it discusses race, sexuality, identity and the human experience. Overall, it’s one helluva collection, one that has me waiting to see what happens next in Blade’s story.
I love this collection of music. I hope you all do too, so do the thing. Support dope music in all its forms and support dope artistry in all its forms.