Unpacked: Solange’s A Seat at the Table


Solange Knowles’ album, A Seat at the Table, is a crisply executed R&B pop album that wooed fans and debuted atop the charts. The album blends elements of pop and electronic music with various threads of soul, adding afrofuturistic flourishes as well as guest appearances from Lil’ Wayne, Kelly Rowland, and Q-Tip. And while that sounds like a hodgepodge of sounds and personnel, the album is subtle and graceful, anchored by Solange’s soft, confident voice and down-to-earth musical sensibility. “Borderline (An Ode to Self Care)” and “Don’t Touch My Hair” champion ideas of black liberation and self-empowerment, and are powerful statements from one of pop’s most socially conscious singers. On this playlist, we look at some of the inspirations for Solange’s beautiful new album, from the woozy otherworldly hip-hop of Shabazz Palaces to the astral jazz of Alice Coltrane. — Jordannah Elizabeth