Portland Native, Rapper, and Human Rights advocate Glenn Waco has been garnering major attention with his critically-acclaimed debut album “NorthBound,” which has been used to teach college courses around the world on Race, Politics, and Protest.
Now, the Portland emcee returns with his single “Willie Lynchings,” collaborating with producer extraordinaire Samarei. While the rapper’s words in this specific record act as a seeming report from the frontlines, he wrote this track nearly four years ago.
Leaving it all on the table, he hopes his rhythmic protest offers relief and fuel to a tired nation. Throughout the instrumentation, the rhythm of sparse drums and lush guitar riffs carry out a rhythmic composition from frequent-collaborator Samarei.
Glenn Waco casually offers a grim prognosis on the state of his city and nation in “Willie Lynchings.” Leading into his aptly titled sophomore project “46,” a nod to a new federal administration in the top office, marking an end to Trump’s reign, but not to the foundational violence core to America’s being.
Glenn Waco wishes to bring listeners a sense of therapy through the hard-hitting lyrical content he delivers in an effortless manner. Speaking from a personal point of view and touching on emotions he holds within, he carries the trauma of continually seeing police brutality and people with financial freedom in the world who can make a difference telling others how to think, feel and react.
Putting all his power behind the matters at hand, he drives home the factuality that change needs to happen. Submerged deep in your thoughts, you can’t help but acknowledge that Glenn Waco and Samarei convey a heartfelt performance from start to finish in hopes that they can relate to the other humans hurting around the world. If that doesn’t scream noble, we don’t know what does.
Congratulations on the release of Willie Lynchings. With a collaboration of this caliber, we would love to know; how was it working with Samarei in order to bring this vision to life?
It’s been organic. Samarei’s not just a producer I tapped, he’s been my DJ for as long as I can remember. The creative process basically came down to me getting the concept and melody of the song and him creating the rifts with live instruments is building on everything from there.
What is your reasoning for holding onto “Willie Lynchings” for four years before releasing it? It wasn’t on purpose, I’m just a firm believer in trusting the process, it simply wasn’t time, but it’s right on time. Nothing has really fundamentally changed in the country so it’s still relevant because it’s still our experience. I’m into making timeless music and Willie Lynchings is my Strange Fruit.
What does your creative process look like for you when speaking about factual matters at hand?
I pull from my experience first and research context and details that I can use later once I start writing. Sometimes I’ll sit with something for a week, sometimes it’ll take a few months, and other times I’ll pen songs in a day. It all goes back to trusting the process.
If you could choose one lyric in the song that resonates with you the most, which would it be? “Kneeled in the field and it nearly got us killed, when America was great, there was still an Emmett Till” I think that’s one of the most important lyrics because no matter how far back you go, America has never been great for black people and it won’t get great for black people until we build our own infrastructure, quit expecting people who pimp our trauma to do anything different, and simply take seats. Their biggest trick is convincing us that they don’t work for us.
What can fans anticipate to hear next from you? We have the music video run of Willie Lynchings to get to, the way I’m releasing my album will be non-traditional so they’ll have to stay tapped in with me. I consider myself a social engineer, all creatives are Social engineers, we control culture. People can anticipate getting more familiar with my network, FreedMinds, and expect to hear more timeless music.