Athens, Georgia-based rapper, linguist, activist, parent, and politician Mariah Parker (they/them), who performs as Linqua Franqa, will release new album Bellringer on April 22 via Ernest Jenning Record Co. Produced by Parker, Reindeer Games and Joel Hatstat, the new album features guests including Jeff Rosenstock, Of Montreal, Kishi Bashi, Dope KNife, Wesdaruler, and Angela Davis, touching on issues like police brutality, social media addiction, mental health, anti-capitalism, labor organizing, among other topics ripped from the headlines. Previous singles “Wurk” and “Bellringer” (Feat. Jeff Rosenstock) touch on frontline employee labor rights as well as domestic and racial violence. Released today, new single “Necessity” sees Linqua Franqa turning inward. Over bouncing keys, a thundering bass beat and witty lyricism, the song is a reminder listeners, constituents and themself that life can be messy and the pathway to growth is paved with lessons learned from mistakes.
“lingua franca” is a term for a language used to communicate across cultures. Weaving a rich tapestry of hip-hop lyricism and neo-soul hooks, Parker uses music as a tool to communicate – and educate – across cultural boundaries, imbuing every song with a sense of urgency and keen social consciousness. Bellringer is a natural continuation of the work Parker has committed themselves to both as an artist and politician. Parker is a prominent voice of change and progress in the entertainment community as well as their work as Athens-Clarke County Commissioner. They also co-host popular iHeartRadio Waiting on Reparations podcast (3k+ weekly listeners) with Dope KNife.
Boiled down to a word, Bellringer at its heart is about liberation – and the obstacles that prevent us from achieving it. Parker is a “linqua franqa” for the people.
Photo Courtesy: Sean Dunn