Lenny Kravitz Gets Deep On Black And White America
Today marks the release of Black And White America, the new album from Lenny Kravitz. Not only does the set have a strong civil rights theme, it’s the 47-year-old’s most joyful collection of songs to date (and yes, that image is a little old to use but how could we resist?).
“All my albums are positive, but there’s usually at least one song with a sadness or deep darkness. But this one is completely happy. My life has never been better,” raves Kravitz to USA Today. While you’d think a look at race relations in America on wax would lead to darker material, with Kravitz insisting “race in this country is still the elephant in the room that no one wants to discuss,” Black And White America is ultimately a salute to how far the country has come. The album features guest appearances by hip-hop’s elite, including Jay-Z (“Boongie Drop”) and Drake and Swizz Beatz (“Sunflower”) and was recorded in the Bahamas, where the half African-American, half Jewish-Russian Kravitz lives part-time.
Known for his elaborate stage performances and music videos, Lenny Kravitz was told for many years in the earlier part of his career by record label execs that his music wasn’t “black enough” or “white enough.” His style incorporates elements of rock, soul, R&B, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, folk and ballads and his 1989 debut album, Let Love Rule, is considered a classic by many fans. Kravitz is also known to be quite the ladies man, with beauties like ex-wife Lisa Bonet and Madonna, Nicole Kidman, Vanessa Paradis, Adriana Lima and more linked to him.
In addition to heading straight back into the studio to record his long-awaited Negrophilia album, it was recently announced that Kravitz is joining the cast and crew in the film version of The Hunger Games as Cinna.