Combining iconic poetry with contemporary music and beats, Caged Bird Songs provides us a final artistic glimpse into the world of Dr. Maya Angelou. Produced by RoccStar and Shawn Rivera, the posthumous album continues to gain traction thanks to the powerful use of visual media. First, we danced along to the joyous footage of "Harlem Hopscotch," and now we get to see words come alive with an animated lyric video for "Pow Pow."
Focusing on a day in the life of a shoeshine boy, the lyrics first gained popularity as "Times-Square-Shoeshine-Composition" in the her Pulitzer-nominated first volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie. Now taking on a new musical life, the words of "Pow Pow" leap and dance across the screen as Ms. Angelou brags, "I'm the best that ever done it." Tell 'em, Mother Maya! In reference to the project, Rivera has said, "When you read the poems on the page, they can be interpreted rhythmically by the reader. But when Dr. Angelou reads them, there's no doubt that she was coming from the place of rhythm. You can tell the rhythms were implied already." We're inclined to agree. Watch the video, listen to the song and get yo' life!
Caged Bird Songs is currently available for purchase via iTunes (standard edition) or Amazon (exclusive deluxe edition). Stop by Caged Bird Legacy to learn more about the pursuits and passions of the iconic poet. To further honor Dr. Angelou's legacy, consider paying homage to the entrepreneurial spirit of the shoeshine boy by supporting Black literature and independent book stores like the ones listed here.