Quez Cantrell released “The Black Today” back in mid-2020 and garnered a good deal of critical acclaim for the frankness and vulnerability of the track regarding the Black Experience. If you’ve not seen the video for it, do give it a spin. The song was part of a larger release entitled 9 that contained a number of additional tracks containing the same powerful honesty.
One such track from the record is “Creepin’ At My Window,” a darker tale that “dives into the psyche of Today’s African American living in America.” The official video paired with the song is a full-on short film portraying Cantrell surrounded by tragic news that drives him to be eventually trapped inside his own safe room, plastered with headlines and reminders of the difficulty of being Black.
Even without the video, the song packs a lyrical punch but Cantrell leverages the visual medium to push the message even further. A viewer could watch this and see a protagonist fueled by paranoia but, with a little thought, it’s clear that the hesitation towards the outside world is earned. This isn’t a manifestation of fear as much as it is grappling with the constant barrage of high incarceration rates, police brutalities and general mistreatment simply for being a person in the world. The horror conceit serves a reminder of how unjust things currently are, a scary position to be in if ever there was one.
Cantrell has followed up 9 with multiple additional singles – “Lift My Spirits” and “Vent” among them – that continue to showcase not only his skills as an emcee but as a lyricist unafraid of sharing his experiences; both on an individual level and as a person of color. We’re optimistic there’s more to come and, in the meantime, we suggest giving him a follow on Instagram and YouTube, so you don’t miss out.