The Museum of Light launches a new weekly blog, Sounds of Light, where music journalist Billy Johnson Jr. reviews introspective songs that inspire, exploring the likes of family, the arts and politics. First up is a spotlight on Miami hip hop duo Social Club Misfits who just released their new album The Misadventures of Fern & Marty that includes the featured track, "A Song for Cami," a record Fern penned about his children.
If we only listened to the songs on the radio, we would think that artists have nothing more to sing or rap about than partying and having sex. So, I’ve tasked myself with finding the music, mainly album cuts, that are more introspective and enlightening. Welcome to Sounds of Light, a new weekly feature on the Museum of Light.
I’m kicking off Sounds of Light with a track from the Miami-based hip hop duo Social Club Misfit’s new album The Misadventures of Fern & Marty on Capitol CMG Music. “A Song for Cami,” is a solo offering from Fern, who has a tradition of making records for his kids, Camila Bella, 5, and Santino, 2.
Over a comforting jazzy, piano and snare-driven music bed reminiscent of early 1990s hip hop, Fern reflects on everything from the joys of putting his son to bed at night to instilling a strong work ethic in his children. During an exclusive interview with Sounds of Light, Fern explains that emphasizing hard work was the song’s main inspiration.
In one lyric, Fern is critical of using crowdfunding to raise money for projects as opposed to generating startup expenses from working: “Why don’t y’all start making money and stop raising funds / Cause all that GoFundMe is a bit much / Told my daughter hard work only is the way to stay up.”
Fern explains the motivation for the song. “I encourage my son and daughter to work hard,” he tells Sounds of Light. “I see a lot of GoFundMe pages. Regardless of the situation, some people need it. But I encourage hard work, and I put that on that song. I want to make sure when [my daughter] hears this song in 20 years from now that she hears me encouraging hard work. ”Fern says Cami remembers the days he had a regular job, pursued his music at night, and had to drive his wife to work. “I literally did not have time to be with them,” he recalls.
Marty, who got married last year and does not have any children yet, gives Fern props for how he’s managed to balance family and music. “The fact that [Fern] travels while raising children, that’s a huge deal,” Marty says. Marty also rhymes about family life -- his new bride -- on the album’s song “Love 4 Real.”
Fern, who has been married for seven years, says to expect more personal songs from him in the future. “Don’t be surprised if you hear more family songs from me,” he says. “I’ve been blessed. I want to promote the family unit, my kids, my wife. I want people to know there are so many other things to talk about.”
Fern and Marty cover a lot of bases on The Misadventures of Fern & Marty and it’s appreciated.
The Museum of Light is curated by Billy Johnson Jr., Joslyn Rose Lyons, Rafael Casal, Malik Buie, Matt Smith, and Adell Henderson.