Weeks after welcoming her second child with Russell Wilson, Ciara released ‘Rooted,’ her new song with Ester Dean. It arrived with a music video that paid tribute to Black culture and demanded justice for Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
It seems baby Win Wilson won’t be the only major release from Ciara in 2020. Less than a month after Ciara, 34, gave birth to her and Russell Wilson’s second child, the singer decided to let her hair down and give fans what they’ve been craving for over a year: new music! Ciara dropped “Rooted,” a song featuring singing/acting sensation Ester Dean, on Aug. 12, which also arrived with a powerful music video that paid tribute to Black culture.
Both the music video and lyrics celebrate “Black excellence,” which Ciara proudly sings about in her empowering anthem: “All my songs come with melanin / Got the heart, got the soul like Harriet / A queen since she born, that was evident / That’s evidence, of Black evidence.” But the song is also a rallying cry for Ciara’s fans to “keep marching” in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, and after a Black woman named Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville police officers who barged into her apartment on a “no-knock” search warrant. Both George and Breonna’s faces are featured in the music video, as Ciara — along with the other guests in her music video — raise their fists in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Ciara managed to do all this while pregnant (she eventually gave birth on July 23).
“Rooted” is Ciara’s first new song since releasing “Melanin” – a track that featured City Girls, Lupita Nyong’o, LaLa Anthony and Ester Dean – in November 2019, the same year she released her seventh studio album, Beauty Marks. “This is ultimately an anthem of self-love, which is a journey I’ve been on since my Beauty Marks album,” she said about “Melanin” in a statement, per Rolling Stone. “It celebrates the beautiful shades of culture that comprise the inner and outer beauty of everyone. Embracing the unique nature of our skin tones threads together the tapestry of humankind.”
Ciara announced the track hours before its release by posting an image of her, still-pregnant with Win, reclining on a Rattan chair. Both her other children – Future Zahir Wilburn, 6, and Sienna Wilson, 3 – were by her side, with Sienna matching her mother’s naturally gorgeous hair. Future Zahir rocked a knit cap and still looked just as cool.
While the announcement seemingly came out of nowhere, certain fans weren’t caught off guard. Some of Ciara’s followers suspected something was cooking because right before she gave birth, she posted a trio of social media posts, all with the “#rooted” hashtag. In each shot, Ciara posted a picture of her with a different hairstyle. “Can’t pool the hood our of me… I’m #rooted,” she wrote along with a shot of her with braids. “ATL Bred #Rooted,” she wrote along with a shot of her with more frizzy, curly hair.
“I don’t forget where I came from,” Ciara said during an April Instagram Live session with evangelical leader Judah Smith, per BET, “and so I’ll never take any of my blessings for granted.” During the talk, Ciara opened up about the highs and lows of her music career. “I’ll be honest. In this generation we’re living in, I feel like things are so convenient that it creates a false perception of success, and if you’re so consumed with being successful, you lose who you are in the process,” she said. “That’s one thing I’ve always said. I’m really afraid of losing my soul and losing myself.”