They say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, and soul musician Aaron Abernathy — affectionately known as Ab — has proven this statement to be true with the coupled audio and visual release of “Now A Days.” It’s a politically-charged song full of soul and produced, written and performed by Ab, who happens to be the grandnephew of the featured Civil Rights Leader Ralph David Abernathy.

The single is a bass driven, mid-tempo selection that focuses on the fact that 51 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. and best friend Ralph David Abernathy worked diligently with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to pass the Civil Rights Act, there is still much more work to be done. The song delves into the mindset of a young black man describing the events his people and community are facing in modern times. If you close your eyes and listen, you might even forget what year you’re currently in. From 1964 to 2016, some storylines still remain the same. Reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” Abernathy’s strong vocal lead and poignant lyricism demands us to take a look at the inequalities and prejudices that still exist.

abernathy and king.jpg
The Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy Sr. (left) and The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a press conference during the height of the Civil Rights Movement Photo: JACK E. CANTRELL, MEMPHIS PRESS-SCIMITAR: COURTESY MISSISSIPPI VALLEY COLLECTION / UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS LIBRARIES

As one begins to get lost in the melodic tone of Aaron Abernathy’s voice, one reminiscent of a southern preacher unexpectedly cuts through like running water and calms the fire in the song. Ralph David Abernathy’s voice balances the tune. He reminds us that poverty existed then and still exists today. He reminds us that it was difficult to survive then and for many it is difficult to survive now. His voice reminds us that there was a need for a Civil Rights Movement then and the need still remains.

Aaron Abernathy | now-a-days cover art-2.jpg
Photo: Courtesy of Mike Orie

Both Ab and Ralph David Abernathy explore the idea that our youth must be encouraged to understand that, regardless of circumstances, they are valued. The youth must be told that the world does not define them. They must love and define themselves. With racial tension at an all-time high for this generation, Ab had this to say about the creation of “Now A Days”:

“My uncle was an orator and leader who spoke for African Americans of his time. He was called to do so and I felt the same about being called to write this record for African Americans of my time. Nina Simone once said: ‘I choose to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself. That to me is my duty. An artist’s duty is to reflect the times! How can you be an artist and not reflect the times?’ I am an artist and I’m called to reflect just that. This is my charge and I accept! “Now A Days” is that reflection.”

Ralph David Abernathy sought to end segregation, discrimination and unequal protection under the law during the Civil Rights era. Aaron Abernathy puts to pen and music the realities of black America during the Black Lives Matter movement. The inclusion of Ralph David Abernathy in the “Now A Days” single allows this generation to see that they are still connected to a past generation. The legacy continues.

You can check out the full-length song here and the creative visual accompaniment here

“Now A Days” is available for free download at

Share this song on Facebook and Twitter below!

READ NEXT: 29 Songs that will bring out your inner civil rights leader

Tia is a native Baltimorean who bleeds Old Bay Seasoning and Howard U Blue. Some weird mix of Bohemian flower child and gangster rapper. Her spirit animal is Mos Def.  Hobby: telling people how to get their lives together while attempting to practice what she preaches. Freelance film and TV producer, accountability coach, project consultant and writer. Just a girl trying to change the world, one social media outlet at a time. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Periscope.