In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are modern musicians who champion an art form that’s more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It”, where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
“Aloe Vera” — Indigo Monet
How We Found It
Social activist, organizer, dancer, and NeoSoul and Hip-hop artist, Indigo Monet, tells her story and others in our SubmitHub inbox. Born and raised in Long Island, NY, Monet now calls the cities of Los Angeles Atlanta home. Being an independent artist, Monet tries to highlight every aspect of life she can in melody and rhyme. She believes there can be healing, perspective, and love in every interaction she has, including the music she makes. She’s affiliated with the Herban Legendz collective and Ab Soul’s in-house production team, Pakk Music Group. Her new EP, Amethyst Inner G, is available on all digital streaming platforms.
Why We Like It
Aloe vera is widely known for its healing properties. The gel is used to treat burns and skin conditions that cause discomfort and irritation. On top of outer physical healing, it has been used for stomach indigestion and calming down inflammatory pain. And in blackness, it’s used to condition, moisturize, and texture hair. I used it when I got my first sunburn and needed to look decent during graduation day photos (and luckily, I did). So when I pressed play on “Aloe Vera” by Indigo Monet, I expected nothing less than auditory rejuvenation. And once again, I was not disappointed with the healing properties.
On a beat that sounds like it’s coming from a late ‘90s Common and Erykah Badu collaboration, Monet comes in slick. Flowing off rip and creating melodic harmonies as she chants “aloe vera.” Detailing her own history with the plant she draws a metaphor to her experiences of healing and conditioning to the conditioning of Black people to their environments and how we as a people need healing. As the subject gets harsher, the beat switches when she spits “told us to throw our hands up and / *pop* / then they shot me.” The tone gets grittier in the drums and police sirens are heard in the background, signaling another black body brought home to forever paradise — another wound before the soul has finished healing the last one.
I wanted to say to my people, we are strong, we are beauty, we are love. No matter how many times they try to kill our seeds, we just keep growing like sunflowers towards our light. Our ancestors are on our side. We all just need love & healing.” – Indigo Monet for CentralSauce (2020)
But in death, the body lays the foundation for change and social stagnancy to move. I found that this track continued to help me move and want to move. Like the Lauryn Hill lyric “how you gon’ win when you ain’t right within.” Monet doesn’t sound depressed or tired, after the death mentioned. There is sadness and grief in her mother and loved ones but there’s recognition that from it, voices need to be heard. There’s a fire in her voice. It’s urgent as she’s rapping with even more passion. The layer of smoothness is brought back after the short beat break to show even in rage, there is an eye of the storm that is peace. For the healing to begin, justice must be served and it’s burned into the minds of every soul that is witness to it. The needle can’t be moved unless people push it forward.
“Keep my brown skin flowing with the aloe vera lotion,” is the mantra and chant to keep it moving. Keep healing. Generational trauma that is happening right now can be reconciled but only if brought to the attention of the masses. So I’ll personally apply this lotion of auditory goodness and heal as I march forward.
From Indigo Monet
“The inspiration behind “Aloe Vera” was life as a black person in America. The first person I can remember being a martyr for the cause in my lifetime was Sean Bell in 2006. Ever since then, being a POC in this country often times come with feelings of PTSD and not belonging. But I wrote this song to remind myself and my people that we are beautiful and worthy of love. And we’re healing ourselves of these traumas everyday. We just have to keep loving and healing one another.” – Indigo Monet for CentralSauce (2020)
More From Indigo Monet
More to Discover
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