Cleveland reggae-fusion quartet Tropidelic quietly dropped their newest single “People Talk”, featuring the illustrious Rhymsayers emcee Brother Ali, off their forthcoming album All The Colors — due out August 5th. The release follows closely on the heels of their respective Cali Roots performances over Memorial Day Weekend and precludes their Sleeping Giant Summer Tour, featuring Michael Franti & Spearhead, as well as Kash’d Out. This is Tropidelic’s fourth single drop of 2022, following “Falling Down” (feat. Nick Hexum of 311), “Come Down” (live at Sugarshack Sessions) and “Looking For It” (Light Up Remix) — all released via Ineffable Records.
Scenes of gossip, perseverance and ultimately not giving a f*ck are briefly glimpsed through the prismatic lens of this upbeat summertime anthem, while playful keys introduce a driving brass section ripe for hip-shaking. Frontman Matthew Roads’ buttery vocals bring the chorus back with “no matter what the people say // Ima live my life this way” and sums up the stay-in-your-lane theme running throughout the track.
His own verse chock full of self-affirmations and mirror pep talks, Tropidelic vocalist/emcee James Begin explains the conceptualization of the track: “‘People Talk’ came together very quickly. Derek [McBryde] showed up to the studio with the hook and started laying it down, and I sat in the room with a notebook and wrote my verse in 20 minutes or so. I think it’s super easy to get in your own head and halt progress when you worry about what people think. Change is often unexpected and uncomfortable. Sometimes, you gotta put the blinders on and do what you know is best for you.”
“People Talk” explores the scope of interpersonal communication: shit-talk, self-talk and how those elements play into our own life narratives, in a surprisingly deep and wildly applicable game of words.
Brother Ali’s engaging internal dialogue reflects on his deepest wishes as he deadpans, “I never had a taste for accolades, fame, fortune and the praise // I just want a chance to face myself before I pass away.” Oof.
Plucky, syncopated brass sneaks up on the seasoned emcee’s rich baritone, as he further waxes poetic one profound statement after another. “Following the mass opinion is a bad religion,” the Madison, Wisconsin native preaches and follows up with the sage wisdom, “if my creator smiles on me in my last of days // It won’t matter what creation had to say.”
Both a catchy little ditty and a harbinger of the foibles of human behavior, “People Talk” spits truth, but makes it fashion, in classic Tropidelic style. Find “People Talk” on all digital listening platforms and look out for their new album, All The Colors, out August 5th, 2022.
Purchase or stream “People Talk” single, feat. Brother Ali:
Tropidelic – “People Talk”, feat. Brother Ali
Cover photo by Hunter Saillen