BLK ODYSSY finds a way to explore his culture even as he brings forceful social critique on his latest single, “MURDA.”

The Austin-based artist, aka Sam Houston, also shared a visual for the track, which comes ahead of the release of his upcoming album, BLK VINTAGE, out Aug. 27.

Read more: BLK ODYSSY drops new track “FUNKENTOLOGY” ahead of debut album—listen

“MURDA” is the third single BLK ODYSSY has shared from BLK VINTAGE, following singles “FUNKENTOLOGY” and “BIG BAD WOLF/SOBER.” The album, Houston’s first offering under BLK ODYSSY, will dive deeper into his roots as well as his experiences as a Black musician.

BLK ODYSSY utilizes an energetic Afrobeat sound in “MURDA,” which represents a sonic expansion for the artist. The visual offers cinematic shots and camera angles. The new sound he's exploring as BLK ODYSSY addresses his experiences and perspectives as a Black man. That aspect is seen through many cultural references in his work, from messages of overt activism to celebrating the musicians who came before him.

While it's deeply connected to his personal experiences, the project’s message can also be applied to the broader experiences of Black Americans. Addressing the death of his brother at the hands of New Jersey police officers, BLK ODYSSY poetically explores the systemic racism that affects Black people all across the country.

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“I want to create something that will be culturally impactful for my people,” BLK ODYSSY says. “I want to do something that is impactful on a larger scale, something that is for groups of Black people across the country.”

For the album, BLK ODYSSY was influenced sonically by artists such as D’Angelo and lyrically by political artists such as Kendrick Lamar. However, he sees one of his deepest sources of influence as fellow Plainfield, New Jersey, natives Parliament-Funkadelic.

“All the musicians that I grew up with are relatives of Parliament members,” BLK ODYSSY says. “We grew up in that culture. It inspires who we are.”

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In the end, BLK ODYSSY has one main goal with BLK VINTAGE and his platform: to bring awareness to what his music touches on.

“My goal is to connect with the Black youth, and my goal is to connect with my people and speak to them on a level where we can stop suffering from happening,” BLK ODYSSY says. “There’s only so much we can do for the dead. This record asks: ‘How can we stop this from happening again?’”

BLK VINTAGE is set for release Aug. 27, and you can preorder it here.

You can watch the visual for “MURDA” below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

BLK VINTAGE tracklisting:

  4. “HANG LOW” (feat. James Robinson)
  7. “MURDA”

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