In February, Pittsburgh multimedia artist Brittney Chantele followed up 2019’s A Fire On Venus with The Golden Opportunity, a concept album about her military experience and the impact it’s had on her life.
The album leads listeners through Chantele’s recruitment out of high school, her disillusioning time at basic training, her sexual assault at the hands of another service member and the trauma it caused, and, finally, the activism that has followed her discharge. Early album track “J.R.O.T.C.” is a breezy, guitar-assisted hip-pop song that sees Chantele relive the day that a military recruiter dazzled her with a “pressed, impressive” uniform and promises of glory. “I trust you won’t leave me misinformed,” sing-raps Chantele, speaking from the perspective of her younger self. Despite the suffering that this experience presaged, the song is a summery, catchy number; its tantalizing nature illustrates the “rose-colored glasses,” as Chantele put it to Pittsburgh City Paper, through which young recruits may view their military futures. “J.R.O.T.C.,” and The Golden Opportunity as a whole, serve as Chantele’s warnings to young people who find themselves in a similar situation: ditch the rosy shades and question what you’re told.