Son Little is Aaron Livingston who first came to light by other names singing with The Roots and collaborating with Rjd2.
Cross My Heart, the debut track from Son Little, is a box of bonbons filled with barbed wire. Over a deceptively slinky groove with shades of 70’s Marvin Gaye and Leon Ware, Livingston croons the phrases “Sex and candy…”, “Gonna get me some”. On first listen, this song sounds like a lover’s plea but the angular blues guitar lick over the top of the track is clue to a deeper, older invocation. Cross My Heart’s lyrics bear witness to two departed friends and, inspired by Trayvon Martin, offer a meditation on the ease with which black lives are erased even now decades beyond the years when that smoky guitar line was invented. Son Little’s voice soars like a young Stevie Wonder’s as he testifies to his loss and the “Cross my heart” tag line reveals itself not as a lover’s plea but a defiant prayer to remember the lost.
The track is accompanied by an atmospheric black and white video that evokes the smoky milieus of Lester Young and Billie Holiday, reinforcing the themes of the song in its references to lost greats.
Cross My Heart premiered last week courtesy of Okayplayer. Cross My Heart is available on iTunes as well as featuring on the Anti- Black Friday LP release, Hot Whacks, a collection of upcoming and unreleased tracks from the label which is out November 30.