Do you believe in the Vodou spirits? Let Malou Beauvoir’s ecstatic video for “Rasenbleman” do its work on you, and by the time you’re done watching, you just might. The Haitian-American artist may just be in touch with some supernatural forces. Then again, she’s such a sensational musical talent that she might not need to be. Beauvoir and guest singer Paul Beaubrun are electrifying singers, and when they raise their voices together, they shake the sky.
Seen from one perspective, a “rasenbleman”, or a rassemblement, is a kind of a party: a religious celebration for Haitians and an opportunity to connect with the land, the spirits, and each other. But there’s an unmistakable political implication to the word, too. The rasenbleman Malou Beauvoir is hosting here is more than just simple assertion of cultural identity. It’s a literal raising of ancestral spirits – communion with the victims of slavery and oppression who haunt the imaginations of people far beyond the geographical confines of Haiti. In the song, Beauvoir and Beaubrun ask for unity with all of those who’ve suffered from the effects of colonialism. “Rasenbleman” is a passionate entreaty to stop the violence, and answer oppression with justice.