While working on last Sunday’s feature story on Bavu Blakes, I stumbled across “Soul Force” a soon-to-be hit release from a Central Texas hip-hop supergroup anchored by Third Root. Third Root is Austin DJ Chicken George and San Antonio rappers Easy Lee and Mex Step, but they brought some friends along for the ride on this one.
“I came up with the concept of taking my favorite conscious rappers from Texas and putting them all together on one song,” Chicken George says. “The idea behind it was kind of like a posse cut, something similar to the Tribe Called Quest and Native Tongues.”
On the track are Third Root, Austin artists Bavu Blakes, Riders Against the Storm, Da’Shade Moonbeam and San Antonio’s Vocab. The title comes from Blakes’ verse which quotes Austin activist Barbara Jordan’s 1992 speech to the Democratic National Convention, “All Together Now.”
“When I look at race relations today I can see that some positive changes have come about,” Jordan said. “But much remains to be done, and the answer does not lie in more legislation. We have the legislation we need: we have the laws. Frankly, I don’t believe that the task of bringing us together can be accomplished by government. What we need now is soul force- the efforts of people working on a small scale to build a truly tolerant, harmonious society.”
Blakes teaches the speech as part of his power unit he presents to his seventh grade humanities students at Decker Middle School. At this point, they’re the only ones who have heard the track and seen the “making of” documentary produced by Eric Morgan of Crew 54 and DVZN Media.
We’ll be premiering the track in mid-April, but here’s a teaser to the ATX hip-hop heat coming your way this spring. “”Soul Force” indeed.