Erykah Badu sung about a bag lady, but sisters aren’t the only ones who carry bags. Listening to her song, you can easily envision a broken, destitute woman, dragging bags down the street. In Marcell Russell’s video “Baggage”, there is a handsome, clean man, carrying his baggage around with him. Comedian Larry Lancaster jokes that it looks as he has been evicted, but has baggage ever made you feel like an outcast? Anyone who has loved and lost often has had the experience with dealing with baggage.
Marcell and I discussed his new song, and the labels on the baggage that the character had in tow. “Abandonment, Failed Relationships, Past Hurts, and Fear. Abandonment was his biggest bag, his biggest struggle”. Sometimes, experiences with love can leave you with issues, but Russell looks past intimate relationships. “Not just as an adult in a romantic sense, sometimes it’s the dynamics between a parent and child that shape the way you see yourself. I believe that it was never GOD’s plan for us to carry it, especially other people’s baggage. Sometimes we pick up bags/issues that were not meant for us. It was someone else’s struggle or challenge, we pick it up and make it ours and then we create new baggage for ourselves. That was sort of the premise for the song.” Some people asked “What was the point of labeling them? Why were the bags so ugly? Why couldn’t you make it sexy or slicker, or clever where the issues are on a nametag like at the airport?” When I was writing it, I said that’s not what I want because issues are not clever and pretty.” So, they weren’t any Gucci bag issues?
“No, that’s not peoples’ lives. We are being ravaged in loneliness from our issues that are keeping us from loving people and receiving love. When that happens, that’s bulky, big and sloppy. It’s annoying for the other person. It’s tough for them and they have to choose if they want to help you with this big, bulky, awkward stuff that has made you immature in certain parts of your character. You may want to ignore it or want people to be cool with it. A lot of times, in particular in this video, I didn’t want to come across that there was a female that was saving this guy. This song wasn’t about a man and woman, it’s about relationships period. In this situation, he was choosing to lay down those things so he can be blessed.”
After founding “Marcell and The Truth” in 1997, as well as penning over 700 songs, Russell is ready to release his first solo cd, “The Serenade and The Sermon” . A labor of love, which took twice as long as the previous cds, “Symbols” and “Hopes Too High”, Russell seeks to understand what is “love”? “I tried to point to what I feel biblically is “love”. I feel like what we have been told is “love” is great for business but usually is something else. I was like, “GOD, hold on, you created love in the first place. So, can you help me understand what it is? I’m not even sure that I am doing “love”. I’m doing what I have seen and what I have been told, but experience doesn’t equal truth. Can you help me to understand love in your eyes?” I’m very proud of the love songs on this album. Not this, “I’m going to save you love”, but “I’m going to serve you love”. Make every effort to be the best you, and I’ll believe you’ll attract that to you.
On the Sermon side, I hope to help men and women count the cost and evaluate who they are about to invest in. Ask real questions, our generation thinks it’s sexy to not know. Count the cost and give each other the freedom to choose. You’ll investigate a company’s history for a job interview, when you go to buy a car, you look at the Car Fax Report. When you look at a school for your child, you walk around the hallways asking questions. The most important decision that you can make besides walking with GOD is walking with a mate. In the Sermon side, I address the danger of not wanting to count the cost and really giving each other the freedom to choose. In the Serenade side, I hopefully celebrate counting the costs, examining each other, and deciding after you know the truth, “I still want to walk with you”.
A journey of personal growth mixed with some storytelling, the new cd , “The Serenade and The Sermon” will be available soon! Visit www.marcellssoul.com for more information and follow him on Twitter,@MarcellsSoul. You can download “Baggage” for free below!