Playlist: Ric Wilson Shares Songs of Joy & Resistance for Black History Month

Ric Wilson © Michael Salisbury
Ric Wilson © Michael Salisbury

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, Chicago artist-to-watch Ric Wilson shares a special playlist as a part of Atwood Magazine’s Black History Month series. From last summer’s timely Black Lives Matter anthem “Fight Like Ida B & Marsha P” to October’s soulful re-release “We Love Us” and December’s assertive “Trunk Music” (“I am not my environment, but the testimony of the shit I’ve lived – it’s not where you from, more of where you crib“), Ric Wilson has emerged as an assertive, unapologetic, and vocal artist who speaks up for what he believes in and holds true to himself and his core values – as much in life as in song.
Pull a James Baldwin - Ric Wilson
Pull a James Baldwin – Ric Wilson
“I feel like when you are Black you really are forced into activism, or you’re forced into denial,” he told Atwood Magazine last year. Wilson plunges deep into his recent experiences as a Black man in America on his 2021 return “Pull a James Baldwin,” a visceral and outspoken exposition on racism and Trumpism during the COVID-19 pandemic. His words and feelings are not singular to this moment in time, but his frustrations and fears feel especially potent in 2021: “Two pandemics going on – one with health, one with race – and I can’t even tour for a break.”
now I’m all up in my phone
binge watching old shows
say I matter and they
just respond and say no
WTF a blue?
Think about leaving this place
’cause I can’t even jog and be safe
I can’t even punch back the dude

slapping me in the face
they wanting me to “pray” away the hate, so
What’s up dawg
You been calling?
I just pulled a James Baldwin
What’s up dawg, you been calling?
I just pulled a James Baldwin
“I wanted to take people on a journey of different decades of black music that have shaped the person I am, but also bringing someone into my daily feel good breakfast making session. Black in America is a daily balance of joy and resistance, some would even argue that joy is our resistance. I’d say listen to the playlist and let me know what you think.” – Ric Wilson

“Better, Not Bigger”: Chicago's Ric Wilson on Rap, Funk, Activism, & Staying True to Himself


Ric Wilson Stuns with ''Pull a James Baldwin''

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Pull a James Baldwin - Ric Wilson

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