Briar Rabbit, Chicago Singer-Songwriter, Releases EP Honoring Black History Month (VIDEO)

02/06/2012 06:05 pm ET

Last week, Chicago singer-songwriter Briar Rabbit released the first song off his latest release "The Great Routine," an album inspired by taking a fresh look at how the legacy of the black minstrel shows of the late 1800s continues to impact the African-American community today.

Briar Rabbit, also known as Philip-Michael Scales, released the song "Coon" Thursday -- a song available for free download in exchange for a Tweet or Facebook mention and streaming through the artist's Bandcamp page.

Scales will unveil the rest of the album over the course of February in honor of Black History Month, with a new track debuting each Thursday.

"The idea [behind black minstrel shows was] that in order to pursue your passion to its fullest extent, you have to degrade yourself," Scales explained in a statement. "Once you degrade yourself, you make a lot of money which may or may not be worth something (depending where you go). ... "[Y]our adoring audience, they love you like Mickey Mouse but are simultaneously setting mouse traps at home. There are two separate worlds that rest on your shoulders. Our Minstrel elects to collide those worlds in one event."

Scales released a video (embedded below) further explaining the themes and ideas that inspired his new album. He will also be playing a live show at the Subterranean on March 3.

WATCH a preview of Briar Rabbit's new album:


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