DJ Lady Luck Presents… Nneka

Goooooooooooooooood Wednesday and start of October to all my peeps and hipsters out there!

It’s your favorite ethnomusicologist, DJ Lady Luck, bringing you fresh tunes from right here and around the globe – all with the purpose of inspiring your mid-week workday, as well as those in the month ahead!

This month’s featured artist is one I’ve known about for a while…it’s also one I’ve had scheduled to post on for almost a year but would keep delaying until I felt like the sound or the song was just right for the thoughts, feelings, or times we’re experiencing.

Well, with several destructive forest fires burning at once, back-to-back major hurricanes in less than two months (followed by massive flooding, power outages, and structural damage), devastating earthquakes, threats of volcanic eruptions, constant changes in government policies that harm more than they help, and now another mass shooting incident, the everyday struggle to keep moving forward in spite of it all can be even more daunting to overcome.

Which means the time has been primed for music that speaks to our pain, frustration, and weary soul – enter Nneka and her message of hope and love in this selected groove, “Book of Job” (2015):

Social consciousness oozes from her lyrics, and the reggae vibes are on point as well.

Look up in da sky and tell me what is left for us to see
So many mornings that we wake up
No money in the pocket to be
Never stop to take the short cut
Though it might be easier for me
Whenever a thought that is as such
Confronts and recognizes me

I go down on my knees
And pray in the morning
No matter what comes on my knees
I will stay, I keep beseeching
So let the storms come cos I know
That love will conquer everything
And I know that u got me, and I got u

‘Cause when we lie, we love
When we cry, we love
When we suffer, we love
‘Cause when we die, we love

The line that sticks out most for me is “When we suffer, we love” because in the face of all these incredible natural and man-made disasters I’ve mentioned above, the suffering has been met with love in the form of aid, rescue, supplies, shelter/protection, and healing.

And, maybe that’s the most important lesson to take from this song – in (and despite) all things, we must continue to love.

Love conquers all.

Nneka is an artist with an awesome ability to mix the sounds of soul, reggae, and hip hop – her voice just lends itself to this blend so well.  She reminds me a bit of Neneh Cherry, a singer some may remember best for her popular ’80s tune “Buffalo Stance.”  Having Nigerian and German ancestry to influence her style, Nneka gives voice to the struggles and celebrations of life with global appeal.

So, if you’re interested in more info on Nneka, I suggest you check out CNN’s African Voices, where a 2015 article explores her life, leanings, and sound in greater detail.

And, as always, I hope this musical introduction leads you down the path to broader understanding… and to finding your sense of place, well-being, and life.


DJ Lady Luck


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