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Solange Recalls Troubling Conversation Between Two White Men That Inspired 'A Seat At The Table'

The singer revealed that two White men discussing her music and audience told her to "be careful not to bite the hand that feeds."
Solange Recalls Troubling Conversation Between Two White Men That Inspired ‘A Seat At The Table’
Ilya S. Savenok

A Seat At The Table proved itself one of the albums helping Black women get through this trying year and during a recent interview, Solange revealed what inspired the LP: a troubling conversation between two White men.

The singer told Helga Davis, host of Q2 Music’s “Helga” podcast, that after receiving backlash for saying a White journalist covering R&B should know who Brandy is, she was asked to join the New York Times’ music podcast for a discussion. The singer declined, but the host, Jon Caramanica, and another writer, both White, talked about Solange’s comment anyway.

“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,” Caramanica said.

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The “Cranes in the Sky” singer told Davis she felt the writers were intimating that “his audience had ownership over [her].” The artist also directly references the incident in her song “Don’t You Wait.”

“That was kind of the turning point in the transition for me writing the album that is now ‘A Seat at the Table,’” she said. “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—[that] 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?’ So I was essentially being told to shut up.”