6lack – UMI Says


In 1999, Mos Def released “Umi Says,” a record about speaking and living in your truth because life is not guaranteed and tomorrow might never come. He used an upbeat, soulful tempo to get his message across in the four-minute record. At the end of the track, Mos Def, whose real name is Dante Terrell Smith, spoke positivity over his people, saying, “I want black people to be free.”

That’s why it was the perfect track to be remixed and featured as a part of Apple Music’s 2022 Freedom Songs. In an effort to celebrate Juneteenth, the streaming platform has shared some exclusive music from black artists– some original and some covers– that speak to the holiday.

6LACK was chosen to recreate “Umi Says.” In his rendition, he used the same beat, just at a slower speed, giving it more of a jazz feel. His hypnotizing voice sang over the record as he reiterated the original lyrics. He added his own words in the first verse, saying, “To see my people not shine, I swear that it kills me. If you’ve got a light, got to be bright. Remember the times they tried to conceal me.”


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