What is a NeoSoulist?
Post-Soul is a characterization of the ethos of the African-American community after the civil rights era and the soul-era following civil rights (primarily the 80’s). This characterization has been explored by folks like Nelson George, Mark Anthony Neal, Dan White Hodge, and others. The post-soul and the hip-hop generation are almost interchangeable depending on who you are talking to.
In many ways it is an articulation of postmodernity within the African-American (and broader multi-ethnic) experience. For non-“majority” folks a displaced sense of authority, truth, and reality has always existed.
Neo-Soul is an expression of a deep affiliation with the soul movement.
For me, Neo-Soul in its philosophical, anthropological, and sociologist realities is an expression of self that is attempting to live the redemption of post-soul (post-modern) culture. It is an attempt to get beyond the cynicism that so easily sets in for traditional post-modernism to a place of hope within disappear and incompletion. Aesthetically it is a renewal of the B.A.M. (Black Arts Movement), early prophetic hip-hop, and Soul traditions of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and early 80’s that preceded the disillusionment of the 80’s. For me as a Christian, being Neo-Soul (and Postmodern) is a posture that affirms the historic Christian faith, expresses frustrations in the ways I feel as if the church has gone astray or simply not lived into its inheritance, and ultimately seeks to reconcile and renew (neo) the core (soul) of what Christ hopes of his people and God of his image bears.