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Standout Track: No. 8, “Star Child,” a dense, simmering lullaby over which Stan “Substantial” Robinson expresses his love for his daughter, Serenity. “You’re the apple of my eye/the brightest star that’s in the sky,” he sings earnestly on the chorus. “Baby girl, you shine so bright/you make this world of mine so right.” The four-minute groove sits smack dab in the middle of Substantial’s latest project, Bop Alloy, a jazz/hip-hop concoction with producer Marcus D., of Seattle. While the entire album is parent-safe, “Star Child” stands out as a groovy, passionate ode to his offspring.
Musical Motivation: Substantial, who was formerly based in Prince George’s County but now lives in Baltimore, describes “Star Child” as the “perfect accident.” He wrote lyrics for the project of a friend, who wasn’t too thrilled about Substantial’s daddy lyrics. Marcus D., who was 18 at the time, subbed in with producer Bolo to craft an atmospheric instrumental for Substantial’s musings. “It wasn’t the original plan, but in the end, I think it came out exactly how it was supposed to,” Substantial says.
Who’s Your Daddy? Substantial says “Star Child” is the second song on the album that will relax his daughter. The other is “I’m Here,” in which he and frequent collaborator Gods’Illa spit about fatherhood. “Star Child,” he says, is designed to remind Serenity that she’s “destined to do great things.” But, while she’ll dance to the track, he’s not sure the message has resonated. She’s 2 years old.