Salut to black excellence and to Johnny Cradle

“Salut” is Johnny Cradle’s ‘Black Excellence for Dummies’ guide manual

When I first wrote about “Salut” last year (that was part of a full album review which you should read), I spoke very much about how important this song was for black people and blackness. That’s obviously still true and important but I want to get back to it later so I can talk about something else first.

It’s funny but it took a music video to really get me to listen. “Salut” is deceptively spectacular and because all the parts move so well-oiled together, it’s easy to enjoy it so much that you miss it. The bass – which forms the foundation of the song – is the secret weapon here. It’s a quiet but obvious power. The guitar, percussion and Sakie Quamana’s unmistakable voice are the stars of the show but whose actually in the driver’s seat and changing gears (literally, listen to that riff in the chorus after the first lyric) is that bewitching bass guitar.

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Anyway. That’s much the same like blackness and black people. I don’t have to teach you about how black people are the culture because, if you’ve read my work before, I expect you to know this but also, now you have a music video in the form of “Salut” to illustrate it for you.

All the powerful characters which form the subject matter of “Salut” come to life beautifully in its video. And it’s not just about the ones we can see – our ancestors who also got us here doing the same jobs are rightfully given a salute of respect as Sakie pours some Scotch to the soil. These guys are very much like that bass guitar – quiet, unassuming and for all intents and purposes invisible but very, very necessary.

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It’s worth noting that Sakie is also creative director on the “Salut” video which in and of itself is a display of black excellence. Black excellence. Black excellence. Black excellence. It will never be out of fashion, it will never be kitsch — it will always be necessary and we must always talk it up when we see it.

And you get to see it now by watching the “Salut” video below.

Well, what do you think?