The genres under which Camae Ayewa categorizes her music are as poetic and transfixing as the sounds themselves: “slave ship punk,” “black ghost songs,” and “witch rap” don’t and shouldn’t act as points of reference for listeners new to Moor Mother (Ayewa’s musical activist moniker), for she’s twisting familiar noises to a point beyond recognition and into an uncharted auditory plane. Moor Mother is protest music at its best and most contemporary—Ayewa uses oral history (ranging from political speeches by Angela Davis and Assata Shakur to punk samples) and cacophonous, industrial noise to reflect on and get riled about what still hasn’t (but desperately needs to be) changed. Perusing Moor Mother’s extensive digital discography is a mental trip to a world where all bodies move free, where all bodies can be angry, emotive, and erratic, and where the voice of the black woman is heard. MORGAN TROPER
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