Black Radio III Album Review

Robert Glasper gifted the world with his brainchild “Black Radio” (2012) exactly 10 years ago. Now he has quantum leaped through time arriving in 2022 where its successor “Black Radio III” has gathered all the infinity stones Thanos style to complete the trilogy of his blacktastic vision. 

It’s fair to say I was excited to dive in licking my lips at the sight of the collaborators which is always the best feeling when purchasing an album to read the production credits, writers and performers ranging from Gregory Porter, PJ Morton, India Irie, Her, QTip, Yebba, Ant Clemons to name only a handful.

West Coast MC ‘D Smoke’ makes his Black Radio debut proving that his skills go way beyond the hype of winning the Netflix TV show “Rhythm + Flow”. As he sprinkles his stardust on the midtempo “Shine” along with the highly respected Tiffany Gouché. 

Not to Be Remembered Merely as a Set of Buzzwords

The climate for Black Radio III is perfectly timed amidst the state of current world issues. And serves as a reminder that the anti-racism movement of 2020 is not to be remembered merely as a set of buzzwords for corporate companies to appear relevant. But rather a statement that the word ‘Black’ is more than a trendy way to improve diversity. It’s a cultural collective of beings within a community refusing to stay muted on important issues. Or settle for our art being appropriated for TikTok virality to which the album’s 1st song “In Tune” embodies this exact sentient. With militant precision thanks to the powerful opening words spoken by Amir Sulaiman. 

Of course, no Black Radio album is complete without the enchanting sounds of Lalah Hathaway. Who casts her magic on the iconic Tears For Fears classic “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”. With help from Common bringing things into retrospect by adding his juices & berries to the 80’s cover with a soulful twist. 

Ensuring That Black Radio III Stays Consistent

Production is clearly in good hands with Robert Glasper and co-producers Terrace Martin, Brian-Michael Cox, and Jahai Sundance. All managing the task of speaking through sound and ensuring that Black Radio III stays consistent. With a high level of jazz, soul, and hip hop weaved between laid-back grooves, slow songs make you reflect. Plus some uptempo bops for the dancers like “Everybody Loves” feat. Musiq Soulchild reminds the world that we all love, in different ways. To which love is indeed both the question and the answer with “Black Radio III” transmitting love across airwaves worldwide. 

Whether or not this truly is the final Black Radio installment. It’s great to simply enjoy a Robert Glasper release post-pandemic, amidst a new world with music. As the familiar friend, we can relate to in the here & now. Allowing each song to heal our mind, body & soul. So let’s all escape the media chaos and tune into “Black Radio III”.