First Listen: Gregory Porter addresses racism slyly on "Mr. Holland"

Photo courtesy of Blue Note Records

(June 15, 2020) SoulTrackers know that there is no contemporary singer who moves us more than the great Gregory Porter. We are all anxiously awaiting the August release of his upcoming Troy Miller produced album All Rise, and he has just issued the fourth single from the disc, the big and beautiful “Mr. Holland.”

The song is an ironic tribute to the white father of an African American teen’s love interest. Gregory Porter says, “Ultimately ‘Mister Holland’ is a song about equality. It’s about the desire for mutual respect and the desire for a young man to be treated like an average teenager. A song of thank you for being treated normal. The implied unspoken experience is the subtle protest of this song. Stevie and Marvin taught us how to groove with a social song, so, thank you Mister Holland.”

(June 15, 2020) SoulTrackers know that there is no contemporary singer who moves us more than the great Gregory Porter. We are all anxiously awaiting the August release of his upcoming Troy Miller produced album All Rise, and he has just issued the fourth single from the disc, the big and beautiful “Mr. Holland.”

The song is an ironic tribute to the white father of an African American teen’s love interest. Gregory Porter says, “Ultimately ‘Mister Holland’ is a song about equality. It’s about the desire for mutual respect and the desire for a young man to be treated like an average teenager. A song of thank you for being treated normal. The implied unspoken experience is the subtle protest of this song. Stevie and Marvin taught us how to groove with a social song, so, thank you Mister Holland.”

Too few young men get the kind of reception that the protagonist wants to receive in “Mr. Holland,” but in his own way, Gregory Porter makes us think that there can be a time when real respect becomes the norm. That’s what we pray for.

Check it out below and tell us what you think.

By Chris Rizik

Gregory Porter - "Mr. Holland"

 
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