Through their work providing the score for Boots Riley’s new film, Sorry to Bother You, tUnE-yArDs became big fans of actor Lakeith Stanfield. Upon hearing the music the duo had written for the movie, Stanfield in turn found himself a big fan of tUnE-yArDs. When they all finally met at Sorry to Bother You’s Sundance Film Festival premiere, the chemistry was undeniable and a collaborative plan was struck. The result of that mutual appreciation and creative drive has resulted in the new single called “Mango”.
The track comes from Stanfield’s hip-hop project with Song Exploder host Hrishikesh Hirway, Moors. Recorded at tUnE-yArDs’ Oakland studio, “Mango” is a slightly dissonant and distant declaration of independence. Reverberating in echo, Stanfield raps about a refusal to relinquish identity from the perspective of a would-be slave: “I’m captain of my ship/ And kingdom of my throne/ I’m standing on my own/ The land that I call home/ I told the white man no/ Not got getting on that boat.”
Speaking in a press release about working with Stanfield, tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus said,
“He had really specific ideas about the track, different characters he wanted to give voice to, and we worked together to keep amping up the weird. Times are weird. Lakeith is reflecting his universes and creating new ones — it’s fascinating and important and we’re grateful and lucky to be a part of amplifying his voice.”
Take a listen to “Mango” below. Update: The Ruff Mercy-animated clip for the song has now come online, and you can watch it below.