Julia Colasanti

October 2020 

Sa-Roc is "The Sharecropper's Daughter"

Sa-Roc's fans describe her as "the truth," and with the raw, authentic LP that dropped today, it's no mystery why. Through every song, you can hear her soul grasping at the past with a conviction of the present. Each lyric is a family tree grounded in the emotional inheritance that flourishes into a cacophony of rhythm. In her words, "it's an invitation to explore yourself, fall in love with yourself, and emerge triumphantly on the other side." So accept the invitation and step into the world of “The Sharecropper's Daughter”. 

Her journey to the LP began two years ago when she started unearthing her father's story, who was raised on a sharecropping farm in the Jim Crow-era South. "It was very emotional to hear some of the stories that he told, but it's important to get to that place, to the hardest moments to deal with," she said, "to get to that light, you have to dig through the darkness—dig through the parts that you're afraid of facing."

So, she dug even further, but this time into her upbringing. She grew up in Southeast Washington, D.C., plagued by the crack era. Though her parents did their best to shelter her, it was only a matter of time before she was exposed to the surrounding reality of pain and addiction. She was old enough to understand, but too young to know how to deal with the trauma. It was internalized and manifested in unhealthy ways that she references in "Forever," one of her most popular songs. 

It was in this primal need for an emotional outlet that she found writing and never looked back. "You're at your lowest, your darkest, and you feel like you've cried so much you have no more tears left," she spoke about dealing with these harrowing moments, "that was the only way that I felt like I could express the anger and the pain until I found writing." Years later, she began weaving the story of her upbringing with passion and poetry to explore parallels between her and her father's black experience in America—only to realize the narratives are far too similar. 

Today's injustices targeted at people of color echo the same hate from Sa-Roc's father's time. "When I think of Emmett Till, I also think of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin and what happened with George Floyd," she reflects, "seeing how closely linked we are a generation apart reminds me of how much work still needs to be done and how much we owe it to our elders, our forebears, our ancestors who have gone through so much worse to continue to fight for change in this world and in this country."

So she combines these cyclic, systemic stories that span generations into a piece of art that she hopes will be a vehicle of change. "I want to keep inspiring people to find their power because all of these insurmountable things, seemingly unwinnable fights that we have to face out here in the world—we can beat them. We just have to know just how powerful we are individually and collectively." 

Listen to “The Sharecropper's Daughter” on SpotifyBandcamp, and Apple Music or stream her listening party tonight at 9 pm EST and hear Sa-Roc spin rhyme into revolution in a piece that is more magic than music. Lose yourself in her love letters to black people in America who bear a stifled story, to anyone uncertain of their place in the world, to those burdened by their experiences and debilitated by their pain, and most of all, to herself.

JULIA COLASANTI