Speaking about the project’s title, Rage & Sorrow, Breland said that “we focus a lot on the rage because it makes us feel powerful, but without acknowledging the sorrow, sometimes we end up only hurting ourselves. It is okay to feel both of these emotions, and to feel them deeply.”
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In the short, largely spoken-word tracks “Intro” and “A Message,” Breland talks about the country’s long history of racism in the former, and the current moment of nationwide protests against police brutality in the latter. “I could’ve stayed quiet/Could’ve probably acted like I wasn’t phased by it,” Breland raps. “Posted about the new project/While they riot. But that ain’t the type of thinking that’ll change climates.”
The third song, then, takes a sharp turn: “Real Men Don’t Cry” is a sorrowful piano pop ballad about masculinity and repressed emotions. “Holding onto shame and pride,” he sings, “Trying to survive.”
“I think the less we feel the need to put labels on music, the less we feel the need to put labels on people,” Breland told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “That’s how we move forward in culture.”
Breland’s self-titled EP came out last month.
Here’s his full statement accompanying the release of Rage & Sorrow:
Many of us have been oscillating between inspiration and desperation over the past few weeks, and I haven’t always known what to do or say about it. Inside me at any given moment lie two distinct emotions: Rage & Sorrow. We focus a lot on the rage because it makes us feel powerful, but without acknowledging the sorrow, sometimes we end up only hurting ourselves. It is okay to feel both of these emotions, and to feel them deeply. The two songs I’m dropping tonight speak to my journey toward this emotional balance, and I hope everyone who listens finds similar peace. Happy Juneteenth.
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