A Seat at the Table
“Fall in your ways so you can wake up and rise,” Solange sings in the introductory track of her third album. The line encapsulates the then 30-year-old artist’s journey, previously most known as Beyoncé Knowles’ little sister, now recognized and respected as a bona fide visionary in her own right. As Destiny’s Child catapulted into superstardom in the early 2000s, a 14-year-old Solange tried her hand at singing and acting. She performed lead vocals on the theme song for Disney’s The Proud Family, and starred in teen and family films including Johnson Family Vacation and Bring It On: All or Nothing. Alongside singing backup vocals for her sister’s mega girl group, the multi-hyphenate Houston native also went on to release pop and dance music under her father’s Music World Entertainment label and Geffen Records in the early- to mid-2000s. Following an eight-year hiatus, Solange returned with A Seat at the Table, matured and more authentic than ever, taking full creative control by way of her talents in storytelling, music, design, and visual spaces. The 21-track set is museum-worthy art that heals, honing in on the Black female experience, inextricable from Solange’s own struggles and triumphs. On cuts like “F.U.B.U.” Solange centers Black empowerment, while elsewhere on “Don’t Wish Me Well,” she pores over personal growing pains and what is left behind. Eight interludes weave her stories together, featuring narration from parents, Matthew and Tina Knowles, and respected hip-hop artist and entrepreneur, Percy “Master P” Miller. Other collaborators include Lil Wayne, Sampha, The-Dream, and Raphael Saadiq, who initially sent Solange the instrumental for what would become "Cranes in the Sky," and went on to produce eight of the album’s tracks. True to Solange’s multitude of creative outlets, A Seat at the Table goes beyond the tracklist, released alongside self-directed visuals that communicate through movement, attire, and theatrics.