If you only listen to one song today, make it this one

A couple of years ago, the Johnstone Fund for New Music commissioned Scott Woods to put on a show with all-new music. Woods came up with the name of the project — “The New Black Eastside Songbook” — and all six song titles before any musicians had even signed on. 

Soon enough, though, he had quite a lineup: Mark Lomax, Paisha Thomas, Krate Digga, Jordan Sandidge and Counterfeit Madison (aka Sharon Udoh), who took on the song "Olde Towne Beast." “I pitched [The New Black Eastside Songbook] to some of the best musicians I could think of, and I let them wreak havoc on those concepts," Woods told Alive in 2018. 

Wreaking havoc is something that comes quite naturally to Counterfeit Madison, and "Olde Towne Beast" is no different. Recorded by Keith Hanlon and shot by Chip Willis at Summit United Methodist Church as part of a Wexner Center presentation, the song features Udoh alone on piano, beginning softly, then picking up steam halfway through, right about the time they sing, "Just do what they say, and there will be no problem, man/Tell 'em you can't breathe, and there will be no problem, man."

"This is a song about expressing some of the sentiments of what it is like to be a Black person in America," Udoh says to introduce the song. "There's this crazy fear sometimes that grips you in the spine, and I don't think some people understand how difficult that can be to live with. And it's also just not a very good feeling to know that in 2020, you're still considered to be a threat to people, and some of us just want to drive and jog and live our lives."

Don't miss this one. Watch below.