The record was originally called Funk, then it became Negrophilia, but now it’s about something else entirely. The musical metamorphosis happened last year when Lenny Kravitz watched a documentary in which some racist folks threatened the life of our president.
“We all know that there’s racism; I’m not naïve,” says Kravitz. “But to see and hear it, with such rage and hatred . . I was like, Wow.’ I really stopped and thought about it for a long time and started writing this song basically saying this is where we are and this is what’s happening.”
And so “Black and White America,” the title track of the new album, was born.
“I remember stories when I was a kid of my dad taking my mom to a hotel in New York for some meeting and the guy at the desk telling my father, ‘No prostitutes allowed,’ referring to my mother,” says Kravitz. His mom, Roxie Roker (who died of breast cancer in 1995), played Helen on The Jeffersons. His dad was news producer and filmmaker Sy
Kravitz. “What I find interesting and also what brought this song on, is that as far as we have come, we’re also going backwards. It’s very interesting where we are.”
Kravitz, who starred in Precious and has his own interior design firm, is also starring (and currently filming) in the hotly anticipated sci-fi flick The Hunger Games, and he’s enjoying the success of his daughter, Zoë, who starred in the latest X Men flick. Plus, he’ll soon be on tour. If you snag tickets, we hope you get to hear “Boongie Drop,” his new zinger of a song (recorded on the album with Jay-Z and DJ Military).
“‘Boongie’ is a Bahamian word for ass or backside or whatever you wanna call it,” says Kravitz. “On first listen, it sounds like a song about girls shaking their asses, but that’s not actually it. It touches on the Bahamaian culture. The beauty that made me write the song is that these women are primarily full-figured women who understand and acknowledge their beauty. They are supercolorful, wear supershort skirts, their hair is beautiful. They’re walking in this sense of pride. I love that.”