In the midst Black History Month, Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins — as newly formed supergroup August Greene — exhibit themes optimism and black excellence in their new “Optimistic” video, featuring Brandy.
“February is a wonderful month for this song to be released because Black History Month,” Riggins shared. “Also, one the greatest producer/musicians J Dilla was born on February 7th, so this is the perfect time for us to continue to celebrate him.”
The trio shot the video during Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend in Jackson, Mississippi. The clip features local activists Frankye Adams-Johnson, Dr. Cindy Ayers Elliott, Hollis Watkins, the Maddrama Performance Group and Chokwe Antar Lumumba, along with a powerful quote from the Jackson mayor: “We confront real challenges but it’s what we do in the face those challenges that really defines who we are.”
Throughout the video, we see the group members in the studio recording the track, with Brandy showcasing her graceful vocals. August Greene’s music is an invigorating fusion R&B, hip-hop and jazz. This song is a new cover the Sounds Blackness song “Optimistic,” released in 1991.
The trio won an Emmy last year for outstanding original music and lyrics for their song “Letter to the Free,” recorded for Ava DuVernay’s Netflix documentary 13th.
Their self-titled debut album will be released exclusively Amazon on March 9.
Check out “Optimistic” below: