The Detroit-based musician, Rodriguez, has just released an official animated lyric video for "I Wonder," a song from his 1970 debut album, Cold Fact. The unassuming video, which features the musician aimlessly wandering the desolate Detroit streets, is a perfect fit for the song itself. Throughout the track, Rodriguez contemplates a variety of socio-economic issues, the impact of war, and a city plagued by political corruption. In an interview with Seattle Weekly, he stated, "I take things from the world and I put them on paper...It's very much just questions about the war. I describe myself as a musical-political."
In his mind, the singer-songwriter was simply writing politically-inspired music for the suppressed Detroit underclass. In reality, however, he was unknowingly writing music that fueled the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. Lyrics like, "I wonder, will this hatred ever end/I wonder, and worry my friend" made this song, in particular, a hopeful anthem for the South African fight for equality throughout the 1970's and '80's.
For an in-depth look at Rodriguez's story and his claim to fame, check out the Oscar-winning documentary, Searching for Sugar Man. Amongst many other aspects surrounding his mysterious story, it gives a detailed account of how a platinum-selling artist went completely unknown in his own country. To commemorate his legacy, Rodriguez's label, Light in the Attic Records, has reissued both of his full-length albums, Cold Fact and Coming From Reality. If you'd like to hear a fresh take on Rodriguez's "I Wonder," check out the Brittany Howard and Ruby Amanfu cover via Rolling Stone.
Via: Rolling Stone