THE BLACK AND WHITE ALBUM
In an age when every self-tanned pop tart talks tough about Pushing Boundaries by ditching the Hanes Her Way and getting arrested, Imani Coppola is sitting back on a stoop in Bed Stuy and not giving a shit. A brash, biracial beauty with the voice of an angry angel and a truck-stop vocabulary, she’s more concerned with creating music that feels like having a line of coke blown up your ass. The release of her eighth studio venture, The Black And White Album, which drops in November 2007, marks a departure from the sound to which many of her fans have grown accustomed. The melancholic, sample-heavy soundscapes featured on albums like Chupacabra and Aphrodite have given way to a more anarchic, visceral noise that settles on no genre in particular. After touring with Ghettotech collective Peeping Tom and taking on experimental side projects like Little Jackie–a 6os ponytail group based on the Lisa Lisa song of the same name–Imani has emerged with her most eclectic and personal album to date. There was a lot of biography to mine: As a multi-racial kid growing up in the whitest of Long Island suburbs, Imani basically grew up neutral until she was 13–when hip-hop blew up and she could finally cash in all her black chips. (“Woke Up White,” a punk track off the latest album recalls a similar identity crisis, which hit her when she was walking through her brownstone–but not brown-toned–neighborhood in Park Slope and realized she needed to move.) While studying Violin Performance in SUNY Purchase, she briefly thought she might be Asian. But she was given little time to explore this new twist in her makeup, as she was swept up by Columbia Records freshman year and pushed into the studio to record an album for them. A lot of transformations followed, including a period of entrepreneurial poverty that saw her living in Staten Island and reciting lyrics into a Dictaphone, until she formed a record label of one and began producing albums independently. For The Black & White Album, she teamed with Ipecac Recordings. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY, where she continues to write and produce tracks that she fully expects will blow your fucking mind.