Antonio Allen

When Jack “Wildchild” Brown kicked off the creative process for his latest project, one that’d been two years in the making, he had no idea of the album’s concept. All that was certain is he wanted to “start with the music,” having sifted through many instrumentals, choosing those that spoke to his intrinsic musicality.

Wildchild recorded the album, his first solo body of work in six years, as a personal diary, not sure if it’d ever see the light of day. Now, the Lootpack rapper told ABC Audio, he’s “blessed” that it did.

With the unnecessary help of Omowale’s greatest influence — all of the Black men and women dead at the hands of the police — Wildchild went to work, creating the album as a tribute to being Black in America.

It wasn’t only the unlawful traffic stops as referenced in “Manifestin,” or the racial profiling mentioned in “Reflections,” that inspired the 15-track project. What served as Omowale’s most prominent influence was Wildchild’s own story– a near-fatal run-in with the law. He said he’s “fortunate” to have had an encounter where he only “almost” lost his life.

“I spent my life being thankful it didn’t happen, thankful I didn’t react wrong,” he said.

After “subconsciously suppressing” the scary moment for nearly 20 years, he finally shared the memory with his Black son and daughter, with whom he’d often have private conversations about their identity.

“I’m going to have to put this into the music, it’s no longer something that’s just in the household,” Wildchild said, recalling family talks about social injustices, one of which is represented in the new video “Breathe,” out April 14.

The inspiration behind “Breathe,” the single named after George Floyd‘s infamous cry for help, “I can’t breathe,” was obvious, Wildchild said: “We, people of color, are just tired of explaining that we’re tired.” 

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