REVIEW: Why Gary Clark Jr.'s "This Land" is the song America needed a long time ago
Updated: Feb 9, 2019
Blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. has released the first track from his new record titled This Land. The first single, with the same name, was released in early January and hit the rock charts with a bang. The song's heavy lyrics reflect on how Clark felt growing up African American deep in America's south. Despite having his Austin, Texas roots contributing to his bluesy, soul-filled guitar style, the singer told Rolling Stone how difficult it was being African American in confederate country. He reminisced about his family receiving shit (literal, shit) in their mail box, and having the N-word smeared all over the fence surrounding their home. And this happened on the regular. This Land, specifically dictates about the time when Gary Clark Jr. bought himself a nice piece of land in Texas after having some mainstream success with his music. His white neighbour initially didn't believe he could be the owner of this property, and demanded to speak to the "proper" owner.
This song was coincidently released during the federal government's longest-ever shut down, which forced federal workers to go unpaid for weeks. As of writing this post, Trump has officially ended the shut down, but it's still evident that this administration is running around blindly, fuelled by hate and supremacy. As history shows, the only good outcome of horrific political times, is that it proves to foster incredibly meaningful and important music, and Gary Clark Jr. has done just that. If his lyrics and signature guitar sound weren't enough to get you to listen, check out the subtle electronic and hiphop flare he's added to the track, and wait for goosebumps to shoot down your spine.
If this track is any indication to how Clark's album will play out, then rock n' roll, blues, hip hop, and pop music fans alike are all in for something special Feb 22nd when the album is released.
Watch Gary Clark Jr.'s Rolling Stone interview here.