Arrested Development channel their trailblazing, history-making talents into a poignant hymn for Black girl magic with Never Had Your Back — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Fresh from Grammy-winning hip-hop, rap and soul legends’ latest album For The FKN Love — and featuring lyrics from Speech, background vocals from Ke’Andra and well-executed production from British boom-bap veteran Configa — Never Had Your Back takes exception to the way that Black women are portrayed in modern media and music.
“We were excited to make this tune,” Speech shares. “It’s a powerful anthem for all women at the end of the day, but it really is a letter from me to my own daughter. I’m on the turntables and I wanted to hear literal scratching. Then, to top it off, Ke’Andra’s vocals are powerful and complement mine for the chorus!”
Working with Configa led to some exciting opportunities; the group found themselves recording this song in two different countries — both the U.K. to work on the beat, and Georgia to record with Ke’Andra and create turntable scratches. They also found themselves working with director JG Biggs on the panoramic video.
“I put him up at a local hotel and we started shooting immediately; he brought his portable Insta360 camera which shoots literally everywhere at once. I knew we had to get the whole group over, plus Ke’Andra, the guest vocalists, and just do some impromptu performances.”
Arrested Development’s unique catalog of positive and afrocentric music creates an alternative to gangsta rap, and the group continues to dominate the counterculture meant to inspire others.
With 30 years of scene-shaping experience to their credit, Arrested Development were the first hip-hop group to ever receive the Grammy for Best New Artist while also receiving a Best Rap Single award after the release of Tennessee — a single that went on to be named by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the Top 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.
While they’ve continued to perform in sold-out venues across every part of the world for three decades and counting, the group’s introspective yet positive social themes have been a strong foundation for the group throughout the years. In 2019, the Black Music Honors Awards recognized this timeless group of performers and collaborators with an award that acknowledges artists who have made a significant contribution to African American music.