Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke has released a new single, “Jungle Bunny,” ahead of his new album 2024, which will drop November 8th via his own KOLA Records. The upbeat, pointed track tackles issues of race and responsibility.
“There is a history of black entertainers feeling that after they have achieved a certain level of success that they are above discussions of race but that idea is a delusion,” Okereke said in a statement. “As a person of color living in the Western world, it does not matter how much wealth one accumulates, race will follow you wherever you go. With ‘Jungle Bunny’ I wanted explore this idea: In a time of such rampant division and public racism, what is the responsibility of the black entertainer?”
Okereke doesn’t pull any punches in the lyrics, which confront modern anxieties about being black. He sings: “He’s trying to run/ He’s trying to run to outrun a gun/ He’s got full ‘Ye, and he’s starting to feel like shit might pop off.” He seems to be taking aim at Kanye West as he adds, “You go back to your home in Calabasas/ With your wife and your kids/ Safe in the knowledge/ On a gated street/ Where life is sweet/ But no one looks like you.”
The album, a follow-up to the singer’s 2017 album Fatherland, is available to preorder on CD, digital and vinyl. Meanwhile, Bloc Party will be touring the U.S. this month around the anniversary of their album Silent Alarm. The short trek includes stops in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.