The partnership between High Standardz and Def Jam continues to yield new career benchmarks for Bobby Sessions.
Sessions landed the title track and lead single for the movie The Hate You Give, which also features vocals by the Dallas band Medicine Man Revival’s Keite Young and production by High Standardz in-house producer, Anthem.
The film focuses on the life of a young African-American woman (Amandla Stenberg) who witnesses police officers murder her best friend. The murder ultimately inspires her to become an activist as racial tension within her community comes to a boil.
On Friday, “The Hate You Give,” the title of both the song and film, made their debut. Def Jam will release the full soundtrack Oct. 12.
The frame of the song is built upon a drum pattern that resembles a military march-style cadence and stellar bass accompaniment from Dallas native Nigel Rivers. Sessions offers up several bars of poignant social commentary, and the chorus is drenched in soul, courtesy of Young's vocal performance that is nothing less than powerful.
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At the time Sessions signed his deal with Def Jam in February, Sessions and High Standardz made it clear they intended for their deal to be something that would benefit the Dallas music scene, as well as Dallas-based creatives. So far they’ve been able to achieve that goal. There’s a long list of Dallas musicians, producers, videographers and photographers who had a part in creating the music and visuals for Sessions' Def Jam debut album, RVLTN.
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The same is true for the creation of the song and video for “The Hate You Give.” Dallasites who were part of the creative process in addition to Rivers and Young include Richard “Picnic” Escobedo, who recorded and mixed the song, High Standardz vocalist Zyah, who co-wrote the song, and Tramaine Townsend, who directed the video, which was shot in South Dallas. Release date for the video has not been announced yet.
Sessions' affiliation with “The Hate You Give” could serve as a catalyst to project his career to yet another tier given the star power associated with the movie. The ultimate destination for the journey with Sessions and High Standardz is uncertain, but it appears Dallas will be along for the ride.