D.C. Rapper Sa-Roc Commands Respect on “Talk To Me Nice”

Sa-Roc press photo
D.C. rapper Sa-Roc will hit the road in support of a new album, her latest for Rhymesayers | Courtesy of the artist

Ahead of her fall Talk To Me Nice tour, D.C.-born emcee Sa-Roc has shared a new single and video of the same name, our first preview of the as-yet-untitled follow-up to her 2020 Rhymesayers Entertainment debut, The Sharecropper’s Daughter.

Produced by resident Rhymesayers studio-wizard Sol Messiah, “Talk To Me Nice” uses both its lyrics and instrumental to send one unmistakable message: Sa-Roc is raising her voice, in conversation with the greats. Over a tense, minimalist beat that shares a sample with a Wu-Tang Clan classic, the veteran rapper asserts herself with eloquence and conviction: “Never had a plan B, now my dreams is full grown / ​​Had nine lives and ate my fill with a will of pure stone.” Sa-Roc’s dense lyricism speaks volumes — she’s a one-woman swarm, as evoked by the buzz in the background — and it’s not until the end of the track that she brings the hook in, declaring, “Y’all waiting for that heat drop? Talk to me nice / Trying to fill that queen spot, then Roc should suffice.”

In the accompanying video, directed by David Maxwell, true color is elusive — Sa-Roc appears in black-and-white and occasional shades of red, as if to suggest the conflicting accounts she’s determined to set straight. What never wavers is the ferocity of her delivery and the gravity of her presence, around which the rest of the video’s imagery orbits. That includes appearances from dancer Storyboard P and members of the Art Comes First collective, as well as Afro-punk aesthetics and the jewelry and motifs of various Black, African and Indigenous cultures, who, like Sa-Roc herself, have long pushed back against the oppressive erasure of the status quo.

The artist’s previously announced Talk To Me Nice headlining tour kicks off in mid-August, stopping in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Hermosa Beach and Santa Barbara, and amid that run, Sa-Roc will also perform at Seattle’s The NEXT 50 event on Aug. 19. But first, she’ll join Rah Digga for a newly announced co-headlining run, starting with a hometown show at Washington, D.C.’s Black Cat on Friday, Aug. 4, and ending with a set at Auburn, California’s Dry Diggings Festival, with her Talk To Me Nice tour sandwiched in between. Safe to say you’ll hear Sa-Roc’s new single on its namesake tour — and who knows what else.

“Peace y’all! We’re hitting the road again and this time we’re celebrating the 50th year of Hip Hop!” Sa-Roc said in a statement. “This tour will be a literal love letter to the music and culture that shaped me, so I can’t wait to crush on Hip Hop with y’all in person.”

You can hear new music from Sa-Roc, and music from local, regional, national and international artists on our music discovery station The Independent 89.9 HD4. And you can follow our Fresh Squeeze playlist on Spotify to stream all the best new music, updated every month.

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