Every four years we feel it. Every four years we dread it. The overwhelming frustration and, for some, fear that comes with ‘Election Time’ in America. The never-ending flood of lies and misinformation, cheap political promises and in the case of the current administration, the blatant and obvious sexism, classism and racism seem to invade our minds with a constant remembrance of our inability to enact meaningful change for the betterment of society. That’s where Roots and Tings comes in. The Bay Area-based Revolutionary Culture Music creators — comprised of Quannum and Solesides co-founder, GRAMMY-nominated MC, Lateef the Truth Speaker, acclaimed Bay Area DJ and producer Jah Yzer and the multi-talented musician and reggae artist Winstrong — are here with their new single “Election Time”, just in time to remind us of one of the few responsibilities we still have as citizens of this country… our ability to vote!
While nonviolent resisting and peaceful protesting are extremely powerful tools that, throughout history, have helped propel us into the position we are in today, the most important tool still must be to vote!
“Election Time”, along with the “Headnodic’s Remix, feat. Rico Pabon”, kicks off with a fierce groove of dancehall vibes that takes you directly to a house party on the islands. A beat that instantly sets your feet and hips to dancing meets lyrics that fire a major shot of accountability aimed directly at those in charge, while simultaneously calling out the hypocrisy in the years-long process of suppressing as many votes as possible while preaching the importance of voting. However, being the son of Panthers, Lateef the Truth Speaker is quick to do just that — speak the truth. Reminding everyone that we have the power to hold them accountable. It is up to us. Always has been… always will be.
The song does not hold back when it comes to its sharp and woke lyrics.
The second verse sends a whirlwind of praise to the many people who physically fought long, brutal and often bloody battles to gain the one right that Democracy promises — the right to vote. That, only to still find ourselves living in an age where color is criminalized. It reminds us of the path that still lies ahead. It hits a level of honesty that is so badly needed; the struggle for many is still very much real. And, there are those in charge who want to keep it that way. Roots and Tings does not forget to send us another very important message throughout “Election Time”: it not only calls out the injustices and struggles for representation, it also brings a level of hope to the forefront. It’s a song that makes you want to get up and dance. It brings out a want for change. A desire to fight for something. A hope for a better tomorrow.
“Election Time” is a truly solid follow-up single to the band’s latest album All Of This, released in the summer of 2020. It feels along the lines of a sequel to the album’s fifth track “Class War”, which seems to serve as a window into the exploitive nature of capitalism that so many have been fighting leading up to this election. Watching the pockets of the CEO’s grow, while their own empty endlessly. The album runs deep with a true reggae sound, blended beautifully with modern hip hop lyrical mastery. “No Shout Outs” sends out way too many flashbacks to Q-Tip and Phife Dawg blowing up the 80s and 90s with socially-conscious lyrics on a level rarely seen since. Close your eyes and hear the smooth bassline, lonely horn and simplistic beat of “My One Girl”, opening to find yourself lost in a Manhattan jazz club. “All Of This” does not disappoint in the name: taking you on a musical journey from start to finish, it is sure to keep Roots and Tings on the top of your playlist until well after Election Time.