MP3 : F.Stokes – “1954”

Rapper Aims To “Capture The Spirit Of The Negro Migration”; Upcoming Album Fearless Beauty Out June 17th



The Song:  

Today DJBooth premieres the new single “1954” from Chicago-bred rapper F.Stokes, and like many of the tracks from his upcoming album Fearless Beauty, to be released June 17th, the song is both a personal reflection on his family’s history and a wider political commentary on the collective experience of his community. “I wanted to capture the spirit of the Negro Migration between 1940 and 1970,” F.Stokes begins, speaking on his main inspirations for the track. “My Godfather and my family history was my inspiration. My family like many many Negro families in Northern cities often struggle with identifying with our culture beyond the move…values and traditions were lost in the process of trying to make a decent living.”

With brooding production by Paper Tiger of Minneapolis hip-hop collective DoomTree, the track sonically reflects the gritty nature of the struggle for survival experienced during the cultural shift from WWII to Post-War to a budding and ultimately victorious Civil Rights movement. The mirroring of his own personal struggles with those of his mentors, both familial and historical, is a recurring theme in F.Stokes’ work, as is the assertion of ultimately overcoming the obstacles that stand in the way of progress. He explains, “The dirt roads of Arkansas were traded for the concrete ghettos of Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit. ‘1954’ represents the genesis, and how my own adjustments in life is reflective of my Godfather’s courage…the message [is] freedom, liberty and pride. ‘1954’ is perseverance at its best.”

Listen to the song here:

Check out the DJBooth premiere here:

Please contact Michelle or Dan if interested in talking with F.Stokes.

The Background:

F.Stokes is a Chicago born and bred rapper and spoken word poet now based out of New York City. He tells his story with punctuating imagery and glass-like clarity as he looks at the world through the lens of his family’s shared experiences. Growing up as one of six children to a single mother in the South Side of Chicago, he shared his home with people who lived on the edge of violent death, poverty, and ghosts of abuse and addiction. He found solace in writing early on in childhood and soon began to express himself creatively through verse and spoken word poetry as he grew into adolescene and early adulthood. In 2009 he began touring in Europe in preparation for the release of his first album, 2010′s Death of a Handsome Bride. He quickly grew as a prolific artist, releasing the Baked Goods Mixtape in 2011 and Love Always in 2012. F.Stokes has performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival, The Essence Festival, and the Metropolis Festival in Holland. He has also cultivated a particularly strong fan base in the UK, where he recorded an EP with the band Bastille, and in Paris, where has sold out multiple shows and has been featured on Nova Radio. Stateside he has been featured in XXL Magazine, Source Online and HipHopDX, among others, and has toured with the likes of Ryan Leslie, Chall Tuna, Mac Lethal, Arrested Developed and Nas. 2013 will see the release of his new album Fearless Beauty, which features production by Paper Tiger of Minneapolis indie hip-hop collective DoomTree, his most personal and political record to date, and more tour dates in Europe, including the Independence Day Festival in France on July 4th.


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