This Black History Month, Atwood Magazine has invited artists to participate in a series of essays, interviews, reviews, poetry, playlists, and more features in recognition of, and out of respect for the symbolism and significance of this month.
Today, up-and-coming DMV rapper, singer, and songwriter Dayon Greene dives into the depths of his triumphant and hopeful song “Free” as a part of Atwood Magazine’s Black History Month series. Active since 2018, Greene made 2020 a landmark year with the release of his debut album Me in July, closely followed by the four-track All for You? EP in late September. Marrying hip-hop, funk, and R&B into one effortlessly smooth, emotive, and thought-provoking production, Greene is a singular artist with a bright and promising future. The depths of his artistry can be felt throughout his expansive and deeply personal Me, whose eleven songs span the universal and the intimate. “Free” is one of numerous standout songs on Me, a timely funk-fueled endeavor to reckon with the state of freedom in America – through Greene’s experience as a Black man, and beyond.
“‘Free’ was a moment for me to let loose and speak life into where I wanted to be in the future,” he explains. “I wanted the song to be an overall canvas of what it means to be free from my perspective while touching on the aspect of freedom that’s much bigger than me. Freedom is something I’m continuously in search of. Even once I’ve found it, in whatever space of life that is, I’m always anticipating more and greater forms of it.”
Musically bright and sonically uplifting, “Free” radiates with a special kind of effervescence. Inhabiting the song is a seductive desire to soar; that familiar longing to swim through life carefree, without a worry or trouble in the world. Greene embraces this sentiment, sinking into it like one might a dream, because in many ways this kind of freedom is a dream: A state of being that is inherently unattainable, but one to which we are constantly and forever aspiring. Perhaps it is this goal of always reaching higher – alongside Greene’s clever wordplay and dynamic performance style, of course – that makes “Free” so utterly alluring and inspirational.
“The words spoken in ‘Free’ are akin to where I was in life at that time and largely where the world was and still is… Racial tensions were growing, and as a Black man, I wanted to be free from that.” – Dayon Greene
by Dayon Greene
“Free” was a moment for me to let loose and speak life into my future. The emotions I felt when the track came about serves as a mirror to where I was in life at the time. When my co-collaborator CPSL0CK and I were producing the song, the beat struck a particular emotion, and the rest was history. As a creative, I’m naturally drawn to sound, it informs much of my process as a musician. The song is a canvas of what it means to experience true freedom from my perspective.
Freedom is something I’m continuously in search of. Even once I’ve found it, in whatever space of life that is, I’m always anticipating more and greater forms of it. The words spoken in “Free” are akin to where the world was and still is. Racial tensions were growing, and as a Black man, I wanted to be free from that. Freedom from the stigma that comes with being a Black man in America. There’s still so much freedom I hope to experience. I honestly wish we all could just live, exist, and be who we are.
Free as Adam and Eve in the garden
Free as a white boy in a mosh pit
Free as no debt no deposit
Free as police when they drop s***
Free as my s*** when y’all copy
Free as your b**** when she sloppy
Free as Willy oh whale
Free my n***** in jail
I’m just living free like f**** the caution
I be flossin’ on em I be saucin’
Making sure my wins outweigh my losses
And if I take a loss then I just chalk it
I’m tryna be freer then a slave
In June on the 19th day
But y’all like the f****** Black Plague
Gimme space please stay away
I wanna be free
Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da
I wanna be me
Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da
Stream: “Free” – Dayon Greene
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📸 © Shaughn Cooper
:: Dayon Greene ::