Development Not Arrested is Iconic Group Hits
Straight off a 35-city tour throughout Europe with stops in major venues in France, Italy, Holland, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, Arrested Development shows no sign of slowing down, if anything, the iconic socially conscious group is evolving and maturing into a sound and a message for the ages.
During the sold-out inter-continental tour, Arrested Development lifted the roofs and the consciousness of millions in arenas and stadiums across the globe. In the process the call-to-action group helped snap the Covid hold on social events and break through the numbing isolation of the three-year pandemic.
“It was a wonderful tour, we had tons of sold-out shows, huge crowds and incredible energy. and we’re celebrating our new album, The F in Love, which is a celebration of hip-hop music,” explained the group’s mastermind and creator Speech.
The Atlanta Daily World spoke with Speech after his return to Atlanta from the successful European run. The artists spoke with us about Arrested Development’s on-going appeal, plans for the future and the state of the arts in a climate of social change and political unrest.
On Arrested Developments mass appeal …
At end of the day, I would love to have music lovers, a large black audience because a lot of the lyrics that I write, I write them with Black people in mind, including Black people throughout the diaspora – those are the people I’d love to see come to the show more often. But the other blessing is that we also have fans from all walks of life. We have European fans, African fans, fans from Australia, Aboriginal fans, we have a really great, diverse fan base.
The intention in the music …
We really care, so I think a lot of people feel the quality and the authenticity of what Arrested Development presents and they are attracted to that. We’ve found that throughout the world, different countries, different races and nationalities, different people appreciate [that we care].
Arrested Development as a rap alternative …
I never liked the term alternative. People sort of pigeon holed us and put us in a category called ‘alternative rap.’ I never liked that because we are rap, we’re hip-hop. Although the music is more expansive than a lot of other hip-hop is, we wanted that. It’s similar to what Outkast did [with] song like “Hey Ya,” where there is no rap in the entire song, but it’s still considered a hip-hop [song] because they are a hip-hop group.
I will see though that we were an alternative to gangsta’ rap because our people needed that. You know, you can’t have an entire diet of fast food, fried food, and high calorie food and live off of that. So while it’s fun sometimes … if you only live on that you die quicker. That’s the truth with gangsta’ rap too. … Unfortunately w were having too much of that in the diet and Arrested Development wanted to juxtapose that and bring about images and content with more dignity about our people – and show more historical truths about our people.