Ron Amato

MusicWe See You

the illustrious blacks gonna “set u free”

October 25, 2019
55 Picks

Though the Illustrious Blacks have only a couple of singles under their collective belt — including the new, “The Void (Let The Music Set U Free),” which AFROPUNK is incredibly happy to premiere — the married couple of Monstah Black and Machildblack has been a cornerstone of New York City’s club culture for almost two decades. (We first met them at Cielo, one of Manhattan’s many now-defunct temples of house music, where we all partook in reaching a dance-floor ecstasy, lost and found in the beat’s freedom.) It’s only the music-making — which the Blacks now do with the help of one of NYC’s great young disco producers, Andrew Raposo — that is new. And, as expected, “The Void” is an uplifting, peak-time house banger, we had to bring to you. Along with some of their words about it!

Though people outside of New York City may not be familiar with The Illustrious Blacks, you two have been part of the city’s club scene for a hot minute. Can you please tell the people who you are, what you do and the kind of sounds you make?

The Illustrious Blacks are Monstah Black and Manchildblack, neo-Afro-futuristic-psychedelic-surrealistic-hippies who bring electro-space-punk-disco vibes, music, and fashion to the planet.

One of the things we at AFROPUNK adore about the Illustrious Blacks is your love and devotion to house and club culture. Can you tell us about your relationship to it?

Music, dance and nightlife is our religion. It’s been a place where we have been able to fully express our individuality and artistry freely and without fear. The two of us actually first met on a dance floor twirling to house music, so the fact that we have the opportunity to travel the world and spread love through our performances is truly spherical.

Tell us about “The Void.” How did the single come about? What does it mean to you? How does it further the musical mission of The Illustrious Blacks?

The song is about the power of music. It’s an invitation for people to let go of their phones, laptops, televisions and problems, and fully immerse themselves in sound. Allow the music to set you free!

What does the phrase “We See You” mean to you?

For us, it means the respect, acknowledgement and appreciation for our humanity and individuality on this planet. It also means fully understanding that all of us are entitled to true liberation in our pursuit to live the hype life!