Afros In The Wind

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Ask Seafood Sam what kind of music he makes, and the Long Beach, California rapper might respond with one of his rhymes: “A little something for the sunrise, a little something for the sunset/ A little something for you to move to, cruise to.” But if he feels like being concise, he’ll simply tell you it’s “some fly shit.”

“Fly” not only in the sense of being stylish or swaggering but also elevated and ascendant— qualities the 30-year-old Sam embodies himself. Exuding a calm, collected – and eclectic vibe –  his music matches his persona. It’s organic hip-hop with a street edge and a sophisticated palate infused with elements of jazz and R&B.

It’s also music that complements motion, whether that’s cruising in a Chevy lowrider on a sunny day or expertly skating backward at the roller rink by night. Sometimes it’s the soundtrack to a cathartic session at the skatepark; other times, it sounds like looking out the window of a first-class flight to paradise— you know, fly shit.

A product of Long Beach, the place that gave us artists as varied as Snoop Dogg and Sublime or War and Warren G, Sam’s sophistication reflects the diversity of his hometown. “The city …  it's the root. It’s what all got my mind how it is because it's so diverse out here. We got a little bit of everything. We got a big skateboard culture, a big LGBTQ community… Long Beach is a melting pot of everything. So when you grow up over here, you’re tapped into everything all at once.” 

Now, after releasing a steady stream of projects to feed those fans over the years, Seafood Sam is ready to introduce listeners to the next steps in his evolution as an artist and man with his upcoming EP Afro’s In The Wind.

“Afros in the Wind is coming after I had my son," Sam explains. “So I'm a little more conscious of what I'm talking about, trying to leave easter egg clues in there for him to catch when he’s older.” On the EP, alongside his usual bravado, he imparts gems of wisdom and invokes ancestors in song titles. Take the smooth track “Eleanor's Cafe,” for instance: “Eleanor is my grandmother's big sister,” he explains. “At a family reunion, I just found out that my grandmother and all of them [her siblings] were in foster care, but then my grandmother's big sister broke them all out and raised them all. So she was the glue that kept the whole family together.” 

Fatherhood and family are the project’s themes, and so is freedom. The title Afro’s In the Wind and the imagery it evokes speak to this. “It's kind of like saying, just let your hair down,” Sam explains. “But Black people, we don't ‘let our hair down,’ when we take our braids or dreads out, we got Afros. Even though I got the dreads, it still was a representation of us as a whole. So that's kind of what it is, just let your hair down and be free. Like, don't care about nothing, just be you. Afros in the wind, just let it out, just rock it.” 

When listening to Sam’s music, you’ll hear that he possesses the rare gift of evoking nostalgic feelings without feeling dated—almost like nostalgia for a fondly remembered past and a vision for a vividly imagined future at the same time. “That’s why I call myself the ‘futuristic artifact,’” he says of his approach to making music. “It’s something from the old soul, always, but it’s up to date and for every age range, every genre, sunrise to sunset.” Yeah, that’s definitely fly.

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