A Note From Allison Russell:
Artistically and personally I try to live by the 5 Cs and HR: Cross-Pollination, Collaboration, Coalition, Creative Communion, and Harm Reduction. This Remix embodies all. Dim Star introduced me to the music on Sa-Roc in 2021. Her latest album “The Sharecropper’s Daughter” has been on heavy rotation in my heart ever since. Sa-Roc is more than an artist, more than a poet, more than an “American Rapper.” Assata Perkins — the creator known as Sa-Roc — is a sage, a seer, a channeler of mystery and hidden truths. Her rhymes cut through illusions, they inflame, they illuminate. They stay with you. She’s an Earth grounded fierce Goddess. She’s a Thinker, Goddess Gang. She has become one of my favourite living writers. She inspires me endlessly. I knew that I wanted to form a larger circle of love and protection and sisterhood around the message and mission of “All of The Women.” I knew that the song needed Sa-Roc, but I didn’t realize how much.
We did not know each other before this, but she said yes when I asked her. I believe I’ve found a new chosen sister. It’s all the things you don’t have to explain, you know? She met the song where it was and then lifted it up into the Ancestral Astral plane, to float on the healing waters of the Eternal Ocean of Yemaya. I cannot get through her verses without crying. Dim Star shaped the remix with deep empathy, intuition and urgent propulsion. It was mixed with soulful precision by the brilliant producer and Renaissance Woman, Ebonie Smith. The Rainbow Coalition of the Loving cannot be stopped.
“Who writes the poems for these spirits we mourn?” Sa-Roc opens her verse thus…
We do. We lift each other up. This song isn’t mine anymore, it’s ours: AR, Sa-Roc, Dim Star.
We mourn the daughters gone. We tend the blooms. We sing the past. We write the future.
“Truth told for every daughter gone there’s a mother left with a bleeding vine.
Cold-blooded try to bury our seeds but a bloom emerge every spring time. Let’s go.”— Sa-Roc
Allison Russell on “All of The Women”:
I had a day job when I lived out West. I was a front-line mental health worker for almost 7 years in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver (aka DTES, the poorest postal code, heart of the homelessness crisis and fentanyl/opioid crisis in Canada), from 19 until I was 26. I worked for two harm reduction initiatives- the PHS – a low threshold housing society, and Insite – the first ever safe injection site in North America. Most of our residents/participants were dual diagnosis- addiction, and mental health. Many of the women in our community had histories and stories akin to mine. I was constantly afraid for the women working in the sex trade especially- I moved to Vancouver amidst the ongoing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Crisis- now understood to be on the level of Genocide – that was belatedly only semi-addressed by law-enforcement. It is more perilous to be a woman in every culture and society. We are seeing the devastating overlap between #blacklivesmatter, #blacktranslivesmatter and #mmiwg today. BIPOC women are leading the way out of bigotry and into true equality. Shirley was luminous and so kind to me as I got to know the parameters of my caregiving jobs, and the complex and close-knit community that I served and came to love and identify with deeply. She was indomitable and I miss her. – Allison Russell