Solange Opens up About the Conversation Between Two White Men That Inspired 'A Seat at the Table'

Solange reveals that a conversation between two white men "haunted" her and later inspired her No. 1 album, 'A Seat at the Table.'

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Complex Original

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Solange recently spoke with Q2 Music podcast host Helga Davis and opened up about how a conversation between two white men "haunted" her and inspired A Seat at the Table.

If you remember, Solange got slammed on Twitter back in 2013 after saying white journalists who write about R&B music should know "about deep Brandy album cuts." Solange was later invited to speak on The New York Times podcast, but declined. Still, the host of the Time's podcast, Jon Caramanica, discussed Solange's comments. The white guest writer who was also on the podcast commented, "I went to Solange’s concert and I noted who her audience was, and if I were her, I'd be careful of making these statements because I'd be careful not to bite the hand that feeds me."

"That was kind of the turning point in the transition for me writing the album that is now 'A Seat at the Table,'" Solange confessed to Davis. "I began to think a lot about that conversation and replaying it, and it haunted me. And it haunted my mother to hear someone telling her daughter 'don’t bite the hand that feeds you.' And also the racial subtleties—are not so subtle—of what that encompasses when you say that to a black woman. Then you connect it by saying 'Do you know who's buying your records?'"

In Solange's words, she says "I was essentially being told to shut up." Clearly, this had an impact on the powerful messages shared in her fourth studio album. The singer actually directly references the conversation on A Seat at the Table track, "Don’t You Wait." In the song, she sings "Now, I don't want to bite the hand that'll show me the other side, no/But I didn't want to build the land that has fed you your whole life, no/Don't you find it funny?"​

A Seat at the Table debuted at the top of the Billboard 200, earning Solange her first No. 1 album. Listen to Solange's entire podcast with Davis below or stream it here.

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