Straingth and WiZdumb wrote their current take-charge anthem with their mom, Stacey Holton, and collaborated with producer Jezreel Santos. The Native Spins Artist Highlight on an rising hip-hop duo.
EDITOR’S NOTE: That is a part of a collection partnering with Ypsilanti’s Grove Studios to highlight artists from the east aspect of Michigan — an endeavor aimed toward bridging the hole between east and west. At this time, author Lori Stratton profiles southeastern Michigan’s Aint Afraid. Scroll down for the music video for the duo’s newest single.
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Aint Afraid desires to remove old school expectations positioned on ladies.
The Detroit hip-hop, twin-sister duo of Straingth and WiZdumb boldly empowers ladies to desert submissive notions for assertive mindsets on their newest infectious single, “Simpler Mentioned.”
“‘Easier Said’ highlights the superficial pressures positioned on ladies and younger women to try to be fascinating to different folks, with an emphasis on male consideration and approval, whereas these identical pressures aren’t anticipated for males and boys,” mentioned Sakinah Rahman, aka Straingth.
“We additionally contact on how ladies are anticipated to be impressionable to males who aren’t even spectacular themselves. ‘Simpler Mentioned’ was created to say, ‘Yeah, no matter.’ We would like ladies to proceed being bosses for themselves.”
Aint Afraid’s Straingth and WiZdumb assert that “Simpler Mentioned” boss mentality as contemplative synth, booming percussion and soulful bass roll right into a tenacious beat and instill newfound confidence.
They sing, “You extra hard-headed than my doll/However big-headed like my ball/I can by no means actually determine you out/One second you the person, in one other you pout/My homies all able to go/You and your boys all movin’ sluggish/We bout to hit rush hour/And all my women can assume is/Hmph, I ain’t join this.”
VIDEO: “Simpler Mentioned,” Aint Afraid
“We hope that women are empowered by this track understanding that they’re not alone, and that any man or one who can’t worth you since you stroll and work confidently for your self doesn’t even should be in your presence,” mentioned Zakiyyah Rahman, aka WiZdumb.
Straingth and WiZdumb wrote their take-charge anthem with their mom, Stacey Holton, and collaborated with producer Jezreel Santos.
“The track was birthed from nostalgia of rising up with these societal pressures and teachings and our feeling of all the time being anticipated to indicate up in that approach for different folks, which by no means actually made sense to us,” mentioned Sakinah Rahman.
Zakiyyah Rahman agreed. “Our mom by no means taught us to be submissive to different folks. Nonetheless, (the) media and neighborhood would push this message, and it left us confused rising up. So writing got here simple as a result of this wasn’t a brand new thought or thought.”
Aint Afraid additionally launched a brand new video for “Simpler Mentioned,” which options the twins sporting colourful clothes whereas enjoying a collection of “girls-versus-guys” video games on an indoor playground. Directed by Embryo, the video takes inspiration from the hit Netflix collection, “Squid Recreation,” and track-and-field sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson.
“After we have been speaking to the director of the video, ‘Squid Recreation’ was a sizzling matter, and it represented numerous what we have been speaking about. It was actually cool for them to herald a few of these sport references in there,” mentioned Sakinah Rahman.
“And Sha’Carri Richardson, we completely love her vibe and the way she exhibits up authentically being herself on and off the monitor. So we needed to implement daring colours and embody that power in our music video.”
AN EMOTIVE BALLAD: “ALWAYS THERE”
“Simpler Mentioned” serves as Aint Afraid’s second new single in 2022. In February, Straingth and WiZdumb launched the emotive ballad, “All the time There,” to handle the frustration of supporting individuals who don’t reciprocate.
A susceptible beat stuffed with ticking cymbals, tender percussion, somber synth and easy bass echo Aint Afraid’s disappointment as they sing, “I catch the load of what you received’t do/Catch it trigger I’m instructed to/I can’t make no errors/Trigger there’s simply no room/Guess I used to be made like crutches/Robust sufficient to carry you/Robust sufficient to hold/However I can’t assume for you.”
“Our mother introduced us up on giving and sharing, so we simply grew to become pure givers. A variety of instances, we might give a lot of ourselves in numerous sorts of relationships that we might construct with folks inside and out of doors of our house,” mentioned Sakinah Rahman.
“Though chances are you’ll give your all to somebody, that doesn’t essentially imply they’ll do the identical for you. A variety of instances, we might get that from different folks, and we thought that was regular.”
In response, Aint Afraid’s “All the time There” establishes a brand new mantra of “us first,” which emphasizes the significance of serving to others whereas practising self-care and setting boundaries in relationships.
“I’ve made quick songs prior to now, however this has acquired to be one of many quickest songs I’ve ever made. And that’s as a result of the sentiments simply got here out so naturally,” mentioned Sakinah Rahman, who co-wrote the monitor with Zakiyyah Rahman and Holton and collaborated with producer Santos.
“We’re givers, however we don’t know learn how to be receivers. We don’t actually ask for assist like that, so it actually takes loads for us to be susceptible and say we’d like the assistance. And once we undergo all of that, and it’s not reciprocated, it actually breaks your coronary heart.”
Aint Afraid additionally captured the essence of their “All the time There” struggles in a compelling video directed by SVN QNS. Filmed in a Los Angeles junkyard, it options the twins sporting mechanic jumpsuits, dragging physique baggage and dancing amongst automotive scraps.
“We’re very hands-on relating to our music video ideas. For us, the junkyard represented how we felt like folks seen us … as trash or as if we have been nothing,” mentioned Zakiyyah Rahman.
“We needed to place ourselves in that house, however within the music video, we aren’t working as if we’re trash or as if we’ve got no energy. We’re proudly owning our house and our assist with each other.”
THE GENESIS OF AINT AFRAID
Aint Afraid began proudly owning their musical house whereas rising up in Baltimore and Detroit. Impressed by Holton, who’s additionally an artist beneath the moniker Ventaged, Straingth and WiZdumb found their love of singing at age two.
“Our mother would have songs for this and that, so music and singing have been pure ways in which we discovered to speak,” mentioned Zakiyyah Rahman, who relocated to Detroit along with her sister and mom at age 4.
“She would work with us and coordinate our practices, however she took a step again from the artist scene when she grew to become a mom and when she transformed to Islam.”
Raised in an Islamic family because the oldest of 5 youngsters, Aint Afraid began acting at household and neighborhood gatherings earlier than making their reside stage debut at age eight. On the time, they sang “Cry” by Karina Pasian at a faculty showcase.
“Rising up, we didn’t take heed to numerous music. We solely listened to what our mother launched us to. Every track was all the time uplifting, or it carried an excellent message or instructed tales of different individuals who skilled issues that we didn’t relate to,” mentioned Sakinah Rahman, who’s the older twin by 35 minutes.
“By listening to their messages and their songs, we may (higher) perceive, respect and relate to completely different sorts of individuals. That speaks to why we feature our mission in the way in which that we do as a result of that’s what we have been introduced up on – music with an excellent message.”
Straingth and WiZdumb carried that message ahead as they carried out and volunteered at college and neighborhood occasions, which inspired them to advocate for youth, folks of shade and households in want.
“We naturally communicated by the humanities, so we might discover ourselves on stage whereas everybody else was giving a speech. We have been spitting some poetry or singing a track. Every part we introduced was artwork, after which that turned in bookings,” mentioned Sakinah Rahman.
Further bookings and a social media clamoring led the twins to collectively change into Aint Afraid and undertake the person monikers of Straingth (or Power) and WiZdumb (or Knowledge). In June 2020, they launched their debut single, “Momentary,” and laid the inspiration for a catchy hip-hop sound infused with components of pop, soul and R&B.
“We really feel very common and regular as a result of we’re who we’re, however folks deal with us as if we’re a rarity. We now have been challenged due to our identities our total lives,” mentioned Zakiyyah Rahman. “We’ve gone to locations, they usually’re like, ‘How are you Muslim when you’re Black?’ Or we’ve gone to Black communities, they usually’re like, ‘How are you Black when you’re Muslim?’”
These experiences prompted Aint Afraid to jot down and share empowering messages about self-love, religion, progress and authenticity by their extremely streamed catalog, which incorporates a number of singles, movies, a digital present at Grove Studios and a 2021 self-titled, full-length album.
“We knew that we needed our title to say one thing. We needed folks to know one thing about us, however earlier than we even needed to converse … earlier than folks listened to our music, took a visit down our web page or had a dialog with us,” mentioned Sakinah Rahman, who credit Lauryn Hill, J. Cole and Beyoncé as a few of the duo’s major influences.
“We acknowledge lots of people relate to feeling like they’re on a journey to turning into ‘Aint Afraid’ of one thing or being so assured in themselves. We opened up what we discovered for ourselves, which was ‘Aint Afraid,’ right into a motion the place we wish others to search out their very own ‘Aint Afraid.’”
Aint Afraid’s motion continues to flourish with hundreds of thousands of streams and a rising catalog of latest materials and movies, together with a multi-part, behind-the-scenes docuseries unpacking their newest songs. Their subsequent single will drop later this month whereas further releases are within the works.
“We’re nonetheless in conversations about what issues might be. These singles … our hope is that they do lead as much as a challenge, whether or not it’s an EP or LP,” mentioned Zakiyyah Rahman.
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