Tuesday marked a first for Stevie Wonder as the legendary musician released two new songs at the same time. “Can’t Put It In The Hands of Fate” finds the soul singer teamed up with influential rappers Rapsody, Cordae, Chika, and Busta Rhymes. Meanwhile, on “Where Is Our Love Song”, Wonder finds a partner in Grammy-winning guitarist Gary Clark Jr.
Wonder has marked the 36th birthday of his son, Mumtaz Morris, with the gift of these two new songs which offer the input of one of the most recognizable Black musicians on the national conversation surrounding racial inequality. The singles come from Wonder’s newly-founded label, So What The Fuss Music, which he started after six decades with Motown.
First up is the heavy-hitting, hip-hop inspired “Can’t Put It In The Hands of Fate”. Before the song even begins, one can’t help but notice the “explicit” warning next to the single. What’s even more surprising it’s that, in a song with four rappers, Stevie Wonder himself is the one to use profanity. Even with the brutally honest and aggressive lyricism, Wonder is still able to soften the overall feeling of the song with the instrumental interlude for the chorus.
Despite whatever softness Wonder’s musicianship provides, the single still sends a clear and important message to those who wish to keep “politics”—a.k.a. basic human rights—out of music, and think they can find a safe haven in Black artists who have crossed over to the mainstream. These issues facing society are unavoidable, and even the eternally optimistic Stevie Wonder is using his voice to speak truth to power.
Meanwhile, “Where Is Our Love Song” is much more conventional Stevie Wonder, at least when compared to the other single. As the world faces unprecedented hardships, Wonder begs the questions “Where are our words of hope? Where is our love song?” Even with a more subdued tone, the song still represents Wonder using his voice for a call to the end of violence as we search for a communal rallying cry.
“In these times, we are hearing the most poignant wake-up calls and cries for this nation and the world to, please, heed our need for love, peace and unity,” Wonder said in a press release.
Listen to the two new songs from Stevie Wonder below.
Stevie Wonder – “Can’t Put It In The Hands of Fate” (Ft. Rapsody, Cordae, Chika, & Busta Rhymes)
Stevie Wonder – “Where Is Our Love Song” (Ft. Gary Clark Jr.)