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Every trip needs a guide. Through the trumpet, Theo Croker narrates a human story rooted in intimate experience, yet cognizant of cosmic consciousness. The GRAMMY®Award-nominated artist, producer, composer, thought leader, influencer, and tastemaker unpacks moments of heroism, trials, tribulations, awakenings, and apotheosis within a musical pastiche brought to life by a myriad of fellow cultural renegades and threaded together by his playing.
This journey unfolds in technicolor on his sixth full-length offering, BLK2LIFE || A FUTURE PAST.
“This record was composed like a film score,” Croker explains. “I want the listener to feel like they are in the movie.” The narrative is an affirmation of the hero’s creative identity. A reclamation of the culture, for the culture. “Our hero receives a transmission (sent from his ancestors while in meditation) that sets him on a mission to raise the planet's vibrations through music that defies the confines of a ‘genre’ and frees the culture from the imminent threat of commercial gentrification. BLK2LIFE || A FUTURE PAST is meant to be a deeply impactful, personal experience for the listener. One that you can also dance to - it is Black music after all.”
Joining Croker on the new 13-track project are Ari Lennox, Charlotte Dos Santos, Gary Bartz, Iman Omari, Kassa Overall, Malaya, and Wyclef Jean.
Croker introduces the album with the first single “State Of The Union 444 || BLK2THEFUTURE” [feat. Wyclef Jean] in which legendary Fugees co-founder admits, “This might be my last rap on the planet…I don’t know what I’m going to say after this.” This is followed by the tracks “Hero Stomp || A Future Past,” “Happy Feet (for dancers)” featuring Malaya, where Croker delivers a shuffling anthem meant to “capture the essence of the Detroit dance scene and give dancers everywhere something to move to,” and “Every Part of Me” which features Ari Lennox and was specifically written with her in mind. “I wanted to feature different voices as narrations to all of the different movements and colors I was presenting instrumentally,” Croker explains, “lyrically, she’s asking why she can’t simply be who she is as a divine feminine being.”
In the end, Theo isn’t just our guide on BLK2LIFE — he’s also the story’s hero.
“I’m reborn in 2021,” Croker says. “I allowed the stillness to catch up to me. Instead of putting it aside, I really saw who I was as a human being, how I receive and treat people, and how I understand the world and how it understands me. I fully believe in myself as an artist, as a creator, as a friend, as a family member, and as a human being. I am who I am—and I like it. This music is me.”