Matt Barnes

Emanuel ‘Black Woman (remix) ft. Tarrus Riley’ Track Review

Tarrus Riley joins Emanuel on the reggae remix of his hit R&B single, 'Black Woman'.

Drizzled in loving words and tender affirmations towards black women, Emanuel’s original single was a heartfelt, modern masterpiece that blended contemporary soul with R&B in a smooth, rich mix of vocals and instrumentation. Now, with the help of reggae connoisseur Tarrus Riley, Emanuel unveils the remix to ‘Black Woman’, musically reimagined by famed, multi-Grammy winning producer, Supa Dups.

Speaking of the release, Emanuel says:

“This is a legendary link-up! I know Tarrus Riley from going to the parties of my Jamaican friends where they play the music that’s big and nostalgic for them. His song ‘She’s Royal’ is just huge, people are still bumping it in 2020! I think people really appreciate the legacy of that song and the link-up is really big for what ‘Black Woman’ means and what I want the legacy of ‘Black Woman’ to be. To have him on it, it felt like the stars were aligning. I think the impact that this will have to the diaspora is amazing.” 

Born out of the recognition of the often strained relationship between Black men and women, Emanuel sought out to create a song that had healing properties, as per his Artists Manifesto. Inspired by a taping of a 1971 conversation between James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni several years ago, Emanuel penned ‘Black Woman’ as a response, aiming to create a song that would uplift, comfort and reassure Black women, and the song’s message maintains the same poignancy and importance now as it did back then.

Fast forward to present day and the Supa Dups produced remix features a down-tempo, classic, reggae-style beat with rhythmic drum patterns and a plucky bassline. Emanuel’s original vocals lay seamlessly over the reimagined beat before soon being joined by Tarrus Riley’s evocative lyrics as he sings; “gold and diamonds running in your genes, but they’ll never tell you ’bout the magic in your melanin”. The ‘Royal’ singer, known for his penchant for music that preaches love, peace harmony and the appreciation of Black women, Tarrus Riley was the perfect addition to the remix lineup, adding his own unique Island flavour to the emotionally stirring ballad. The two reinforce each other’s messages throughout the track, Tarrus in a laid-back, reggae style and Emanuel in an impassioned and soulful serenade.

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