With the recent uptick in attention of black people in rock bands, there is also an uptick of black hardcore punks like SOUL GLO and End It. SOUL GLO’s Diaspora Problems tackles the hell of American fascism and uplifts community in the process, End It embraces the hate of America and spits it directly back into the face of White America. Zulu, a contemporary, takes their direction from the very first utterance of “where my niggas at?” in a now-deleted hate5six video. They are here to empower and uplift their people. In other words, if hardcore became black, Zulu added some red and green to the picture.
A New Tomorrow, Zulu’s new project, not only piles on hardcore punk, but it also showcases funk and rap.
A New Tomorrow may be the album where you feel like hardcore is truly black. Opening with the dreamy spiritual jazz, “Africa,” the band then starts wrecking shit with “For Sista Humphrey.” Interludes of soul and reggae separate each track. Sometimes, they become whole tracks on funk instrumentals like “Shine Eternally.” These may as well be the calm before the storm as they eviscerate culture vultures on “Fakin’ the Funk (You Get Did),” curse the more violent end of racism on “52 Fatal Strikes” and stand their ground on where they belong on “Where I’m From” (featuring Pierce Jordan of previously mentioned SOUL GLO). But the album isn’t just pure, tight-fisted fury. It’s moreso frustration that anger has to be used to be listened to.
Interlude “Must I Only Share my Pain” and poem “Creme de Cassis” (by Aleisia Miller) and Precious Tucker tackle this frustration of not getting to celebrate the beauty of being black and the majesty of your culture. You’re only acknowledged when discussing the hell of being black in America. This further brings into focus the point of A New Tomorrow: no more pain, no more struggle, no more hatred. Just love, peace, and the dream of just being who you are wherever you are without senseless harassment.
A New Tomorrow is an album-long message. The message says that there will be hell coming your way and you won’t know why, but don’t ever let anyone tell you that you don’t have the right to love and celebrate yourself as you are. Have hope, faith and love in yourself, no matter how people claim to have some bone to pick with you. What’s more punk than that?