BRONZEVILLE — Jessica Disu hadn’t picked up a pen and a pad in two years when the spark came. What happened after would lay the foundation for her return to the music scene.
Better known as FM Supreme, the West Side native is releasing her EP, “The Second Coming,” later this month. On Thursday, she’s shooting a music video in Bronzeville for her first single, “This Is A Herstory Movement.” She’s inviting South Siders to participate.
The first dozen people to arrive at 2 p.m. at Boxville, 320 E. 51st St., for the shoot will receive a free limited edition “Herstory” hoodie.
Disu said she struggled with her art after the death of her cousin, stepping away to heal. A trip to Nairobi, Kenya, for a conference on race and religion gave Disu the space to grieve and reflect, forcing her to process the feelings she’d set aside since her cousin’s death.
“I was traumatized. I wouldn’t say I was depleted, but it felt like with her death, that passion had died,” Disu said.
The trip also allowed Disu be inspired by the resilience of those around her. Upon returning to Chicago, Disu resolved to honor her cousin through her work, expanding her literacy program, My Sister’s Keeper, and working with local alternative schools to support young Black women on the margins.
Then George Floyd happened. And Breonna Taylor. And Ahmaud Arbery. And Jacob Blake. And a pandemic that would result in the loss of millions of lives.
“Of course I have a righteous rage like everyone else. I went out to protest a few times last year, and I remember being astonished by the number of non-Black bodies there, because I had been with Black Lives Matter from the beginning and remembered when it was mainly us putting ourselves out there on the line,” Disu said.
That shift, coupled with the burgeoning movement to defund police departments, gave the artist hope — and vindication. She she still receives the occasional piece of hate mail referencing a Fox News interview in 2016 where she called for the abolishment of police, but she remains focused on creating a better world.
The video shoot marks Disu’s return to music and will serve as a love letter to the Black community, specifically Black women and girls and those who love them. She’ll be joined by My Block, My Hood, My City Founder and congressional candidate Jahmal Cole, Trinity United Church of Christ leaders Otis Moss III, Kuumba Lynx and other community leaders.
“So many artists these days are more obsessed with chasing a bag and clout than making change in our communities,” Disu said. “Movement is made by culture, and the main thing that drives culture is art. We’ve got to get back to that.”
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