Good songs excite listeners and get them moving. Great ones get those listeners to think and reflect, even as they dance. But truly extraordinary songs are transportive: they open up a gateway into a world of sound where the parameters are defined by the imaginations of those making the music. Butta B-Rocka makes music like that – funky, colorful, and immersive music that’s danceable, thought-provoking, and more than a bit otherworldly. The clip for “Strange Luv,” her latest excursion into alternative pop soul, is an exercise in sheer transcendence. Butta B-Rocka wakes in a parallel dimension, and every step she takes along a haunted forest path is one of magic and discovery.
She’s not alone. The singer/songwriter is accompanied on her journey by the Atlanta rapper Homer MC – an inveterate perimeter-walker, musical explorer, and generator of altered states. Homer stands firmly within his city’s long tradition of adventurous underground emcees, and the verse he raps on “Strange Luv” are wild and witty, friendly, odd, pleasantly off-kilter. They’re a perfect complement to Butta B-Rocka’s bright, warm, instantly appealing verses and the springy, danceable, irresistible deep-woods funk of her band. The track builds on the artistic success of the recent single “Promise Land,” which established Butta B-Rocka as a songwriter with a broad vision – one that encompassed folk, R&B, classic rock, and world music. Given the breadth of her influences and the confidence with which she synthesizes styles, it’s no wonder that the song has been streamed tens of thousands of times on Spotify and other services.
With its wild costumes and psychedelic garden-party aesthetic, director Mazi O’s clip for “Strange Luv” nods toward Alice In Wonderland before leading Butta B-Rocka down a tangled trail of Butta’s invention. Her investigations in the forest bring her face to face with Homer MC and her band – yet the spell cast by the forest has transformed them into enchanted beings. Mazi O and Butta B-Rocka call their parallel dimension “Butta Butta Land”: it’s a place where impossible dreams come true and where identity is never fixed. The effects of the woods even reach the star, who finds herself changed. Of course, it’s just her outrageous costume, but the implication of the clip is clear: love is a strange thing, and if you surrender to it, you’ll never be the same.