On Monday, NPR unveiled the first single and title track from the album, which finds Staples tackling contemporary issues regarding race in America under President Trump. Staples herself penned the song’s lyrics, which ask, “If all I was was black / Don’t you wanna know me more than that?”
“We’re not loving one another the way we should,” Staples said in a statement. “Some people are saying they want to make the world great again, but we never lost our greatness. We just strayed into division.” As Staples sings on the title track, “It’s time for more love.”
If All I Was Was Black, due out November 17th and available for pre-order now, features 10 tracks written by Tweedy, including three the Wilco rocker co-wrote with Staples. Tweedy, who appears on the LP’s “Ain’t No Doubt About It,” also produced the album, his third time working with Staples following 2010’s Grammy-winning You Are Not Alone and 2013’s One True Vine.
Tweedy said of If All I Was Was Black in a statement, “I’ve always thought of art as a political statement in and of itself – that it was enough to be on the side of creation and not destruction. But there is something that feels complicit at this moment in time about not facing what is happening in this country head on.”
The singer will embark on a tour with Bob Dylan set to kick off next month.
If All I Was Was Black Track List
1. “Little Bit”
2. “If All I Was Was Black”
3. “Who Told You That”
4. “Ain’t No Doubt About It” (feat. Jeff Tweedy)
5. “Peaceful Dream”
6. “No Time For Crying”
7. “Build A Bridge”
8. “We Go High”
9. “Try Harder”
10. “All Over Again”