HipHopDX Premiere: There comes a time when silence is betrayal and SOL Development (Source of Light) chose to relinquish their right to remain silent with the release of “Helicopters.” Fronted by award-winning educator Karega Bailey, the Oakland-based Hip Hop, jazz, and soul ensemble tackle the frustration and trauma associated with being Black in a police encounter.

Produced by Zoo Labs, “Helicopters” is a cutting edge conversation, offering insight into the Black psyche surrounding a long-standing history of Black bodies brutalized after police interactions. The musicality offered by this group of seasoned musicians is mind blowing, but perhaps what is more impressive than their music, is that they’ve conquered the anger that comes with seeing Black bodies lay lifeless in the streets of America via phones and computers. It’s something Bailey has always understood. 

SOL Development has been able create a non-accusatory message meant to teach. As referenced in their lyrics, “You cannot relate to what black people feel/‘cuz you don’t understand, that don’t make it less real/too stuck in your head when your heart needs to feel/the pain that we carry is real/pressure is building for real/this ain’t no movie or reel/this pressure could kill.”

SOL Development is imploring listeners to choose empathy over blame, and humanity over hostility, in hopes to develop a “source of light” in all who hear their message. Bob Marley once said, “One good thing about music/when it hits you feel no pain.” While this remains true, when SOL Development hits, the pain can be felt. Something powerful enough to end silence, spark a change, and create a world where lives and names can be remembered as #MoreThanAHashTag.