Though I stand in unity with my brothers, as a woman, I’ll never know what it’s truly like to live as a Black man. The new song “4black men” from Dannis Winston offers a glimpse through the eyes of not only Black men both young and old, but homeless and homosexual as well. The listener is shaken, as the third verse ends abruptly with a gunshot, much like the lives of over 100 Black men by the hands of police, this year alone. Pride peeks through the pain in Winston’s voice as he contrasts the view of the youth with the perspective of an older man, who observes that the more things change, the more they stay the same. He sings, “My skin is black / And as I roam, I live in fear / Not for myself, an aging man / For murdered boys before they’re men.” The piano throughout this gorgeous piece adds sensitivity, amid penetrating and sometimes grim lyrics, but is brightened by a hopeful key change towards the end of the song.
This single, inspired by and every bit as thought-provoking as Nina Simone’s “4 Women,” is the first release from Winston’s new EP entitled, Master Class. It was designed to give the world a sense of his range as an artist and includes production by Matt "eCussionist" Vorzimer, known for his work with jazz pianist Robert Glasper, and Joel Fuentes, who has worked with hip hop legend Big Daddy Kane. GRAMMY Award-Winning engineers "Bassy" Bob Brockmann and Mark Christenson also lend their magic to the EP, which features a guest performance feature by Raye 6.
Take in "4black men" below and listen to the full project on SoundCloud, where it will be available exclusively for the next two weeks before it goes on sale on all major digital platforms.