At only 8 minutes and 40 seconds, Zulu’s My People… Hold On packs a big punch. Initially released in September 2020, this 5-track EP starts with “Blackcurrant,” a poem by Aleisia Miller that speaks on her experience as a black woman—always stuck behind sexist and racist stereotypes and expectations that are both unfair and unrealistic. As soon as the poem is done, Zulu abruptly dives headfirst into their brand of brash and heavy hardcore punk with “Now They Are Through With Me,” which sets the tone for the rest of the EP—anger and sadness born out of centuries of systemic racism and police brutality.
While power-violence and hardcore punk may not be for everyone due to its extreme nature, this genre perfectly captures the resentment and fury that black people and other people of color have towards racist American institutions and police brutality, and the lyrics are something that the listener should pull up to read and listen closely to. The lyrics on the songs here are very strong in this EP. The lyrics are so simple and concise, yet they are impactful, thought-provoking, and also relatable, as a person of color myself.
I am not someone who regularly listens to power-violence; I find it a bit harsh and hard to listen to sometimes, but this EP cleverly adds softer and more jazzy and soulful interludes to the ends of the songs that could be interpreted as a sort of palate cleanser, but also a reminder that black pain does not just manifest as quick bursts of anger and violence, but also as prolonged melancholy and vulnerability. If you are a fan of heavy or extreme music, My People…Hold On will surely be a treat. It is fast paced, rowdy, groovy, and surely headbanging- and two-stepping-worthy.