Butterfly Ali Addresses Today’s Racial Climate in “Pray for ‘Em”

Photo Credit: Parker Harris (@parker.harris)

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // October 29, 2020

Titus Makin hasn’t been performing as Butterfly Ali for long yet, but he’s already captivated music lovers everywhere. Having been raised around jazz, funk, soul, and blues, it only makes sense that Butterfly Ali incorporates these earwormy soundscapes into his discography. Now ready to bless us with his genre-bending masterpieces, Butterfly Ali unleashes his fantastic new single, “Pray for ‘Em.”

On “Pray for ‘Em,” Butterfly Ali explained, 

“’Pray for ‘‘Em’ came about from the racial climate we have always been in and have recently seen a heavy resurgence of. I couldn’’t quite figure out the right way to speak my thoughts on the topic, so I put my thoughts into this song. The song is truly just my inner voice and internal monologue seeing all that is going on around me, experiencing it, and also having faith and hope for progression. Loved being able to couple such a heavy message with a fantastic producer and musician Sam Barsh. He really understands strong storytelling through instrumentation, while honoring my soul/funk stylings. Coupling our worlds really brought a relatability sonically to the song.”

As racial injustice becomes more evident in the modern age, Butterfly Ali crafted “Pray for ‘Em” with the intention of sharing his innermost thoughts on racism. Whether it’s the funky tendencies or soulful harmonies, “Pray for ‘Em” is a sonic gem we can’t get enough of. As Butterfly Ali sits in what’s meant to resemble the lotus position in the “Pray for ‘Em” video, we’re transported to several locations that embody zen at its finest.

“With this music video, I wanted to take all of the inner thoughts I’’ve been having during this climate and resurgence of many already in place systemic racial issues, and paint the aspiring picture of a peaceful, beautiful, non racist, world. It was such a blessing being able to feature my family in this music video. These visuals of my family represent the unity, love, and support that we as people are capable of having for one another. The female dancer represents the beauty, peace, and serenity that sometimes comes before the storm of agony, fear, and fight. All of these expressions are the internal colors of each and every one of us, which proves that we are all alike no matter the color of our skin. I need to judge someone for looking, speaking, or believing differently than you will get us nowhere. The director and editor, Austin Hughes, really brought an extremely beautiful aesthetic and eye to the visual. Having different temperatures and color represent different moods and expressions. Really assisting in bringing a sense of calmness and power to the visuals.”

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