I first discovered Baron Amato just 10 days ago during a spontaneous recommendation from a friend during my visit to New Orleans. To be quiet frank, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but upon arriving to the venue I had low expectations. Possibly because the stage was neatly tucked into the back of the New Orleans bar, or because of the intimate crowd led me to believe that his music only garnered attention of friends/close supporters. I was in fact wrong. Two songs into the set, I found myself nodding non-stop to a hip hop artist who at the time I couldn’t remember the name of. But what I’ve quickly learned from other rising stars, is that despite how talented or relatively unknown you are, your moment could come at the blink of an eye. Baron Amato is a poet at heart. And as you hear his music, you’ll hear his story telling. The track I remember distinctly first catching my attention during his show was Selma Flower/Indigo Interlude No. 1. Flowing smoothly like pre-marital proposal verbiage, Amato requests of the following. “And when you talk to God baby will you pray for me. And when you cooking Sunday dinner leave a plate for me.” Amato is not afraid to bite his tongue, expressing his needs, wants and desires.
His music pens powerful, vulnerable thoughts that Black males are often excluded from exuding based on societal standards.
In November 2015, he released Au’ Natural the 14-track EP that features Selma Flower, and in my humble opinion has received a pretty underwhelming response. Not because Baron Amato isn’t talented. However, possibly due to the lack of strong media coverage many New Orleans artists are able to garner without the help of a strong media giant. But regardless of who co-signs or not, Amato is definitely going somewhere. His style sits somewhere between Mos Def and Nas, fusing in the Southern verbiage popularized by Outkast and Goodie Mob. Track 12, samples the hook of The Spinners ‘I’ll Be Around.’ “I forgot to save your number. I don’t know yo name. But maybe if you take my hand and two-step things will change.” At the first couple of listens, it’s easily my favorite track on the project. While love is certainly a hot topic for Mr. Amato, it isn’t the only focus of the project. Reggae-inspired, Coded Language, features New Orleans artist Ms. Charm Taylor. The track speaks of navigating Black royalty in a prison-industrial complex society targeting the Black community. Atleast that’s how I interpret the following lyrics. “African kings walking streets of the kingdom…..mislead them. Keep them secrets in the books knowing we can read them….Linger in the back so they won’t notice I’m Black. The only kings I know that’s hoping for scraps.” Undoubtedly, Baron Amato is pro-Black. Follow up, Amaterasu and lead single from the project also speaks on real issues in the Black community. Issues like selling out for money and fame. “Ashy ass n*gga getting paid in jerkins. You just think the n*gga getting paid in full. I just think we all getting fed some bull. Like my n*gga did when he signed a deal. Ask D’Angelo Tell him how does it feel when you abandon the people that you supposed to heal.” While I’m not sure what’s next for Baron Amato, his live performance takes his music to another level no doubt, and his project only solidifies these thoughts as I listen on a quiet evening rummaging my thoughts. Give Au Natural a listen below.