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Songs We Love: Gensu Dean & Denmark Vessey, 'Black Love'

Gensu Dean and Denmark Vessey.
Adama Delphine Fawundu
/
Courtesy of the artist
Gensu Dean and Denmark Vessey.

Love is complicated, but love songs these days tend not to be. Maybe it's because we'd rather bask in the sunny days of initial attraction and infatuation than think about the inevitable inclement weather that comes with the hard work of a real relationship. But rapper Denmark Vessey and producer Gensu Dean have stormy weather in mind on "Black Love," a new song from their soon-to-be released album Whole Food.

"My ego was bruised like / I don't wanna fight, I just want you to feel the way I feel right now," Vessey raps, recounting an argument with a lover. He's equally prideful and vulnerable in his Macallan 12-fueled confession over Dean's bluesy guitar and organ loop. Though he's angry enough to call his lover a "bitch" in the heat of the moment, he's also self-aware enough to admit he's wrong for doing so — especially when she paid half of his rent. Guest MC 7evenThirty uses his verse to pledge his heart to a newfound love, asking that she accept him despite his checkered past, as the beatmaker-singer adds another layer of emotion with his vocals.

But this wouldn't be a Denmark Vessey song without some subtle profundity and social commentary. In the song's refrain, he slips in a little something about the often precarious relationship between police and black bodies: "We ain't about to call 9-11 / Can't none one of us act up / Officer Shoot First show up / And he gon' kill / This black love."

Whole Food comes out July 29 on Mello Music Group.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Timmhotep Aku