Bobby Ross Avila’s “Humanity” Featuring RZA Is A Timely Message On A Day Of Sorrow (Album Stream)
Bobby Ross Avila is a distinguished and celebrated musician whose work has been heard by Heads before, albeit they may not realize it. Having worked in multiple capacities for artists like Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, Usher, and many others, Avila is a performing artist and acclaimed producer whose prowess has been compared to legendary musicians like Roger Troutman and Stevie Wonder. The multi-instrumentalist is a Grammy winner who, along with his brother, earned the phenomenal distinction of being the first American Latinos to win two Grammy’s in the R&B category, thanks to their work on Chaka Khan’s 2007 album, Funk This. Now, he is celebrating the release of his compilation project, Beats, Riots + Lives, a seven-track EP he produced with his brother, Iz, that features some Hip-Hop heavyweights, including RZA.
In a statement released to Ambrosia For Heads, the Wu-Tang abbot addressed the first of two collaborations, “Humanity”: “Suffering and pain is part of life, but they are not a mandatory part. Through wisdom we can potentially avoid the mishaps of past generations. Humanity is losing its identity. My lyrics, ‘Teach my son to be a better man than me’ doesn’t mean more money and fame, but more character and humanity.”
The Grammy decorated Avila said in his own statement to AFH, “Working with an Icon like RZA was a blessing and an incredible experience. In 2015 there is so much going in the world, things are chaotic and to discuss these things on a track with him was truly amazing.”
RZA makes two appearances, first on “Big Mistake” and again on the aforementioned bonus track closer, “Humanity.” The former is a love song through and through, filled with scratching and Avila’s soulful vocals that blend nicely with RZA’s gruff delivery. It’s a refreshing sound, as RZA is rarely heard on a song that has such heavy R&B influence. The latter is a down-tempo, deeply reflective piece that allows RZA’s lyricism take center stage, with the MC spitting about everything from John Gotti to karate to the table of elements while Avila serenades over a harmonica and mournful piano. Check out Bobbys Ross & Digital and the rest of the project below.
#BonusBeat: Catch the Avila Brothers’ Sway In The Morning performance in full: