Saturday, November 15, 2003

Fuck retro-nuevo or whatever folks wanna call it - you know, the "movement" led by D'Angelo (MIA?), Badu and Maxwell. Not that I'm sayin' fuck them, but besides hatin' on labels, why not go for the source, or stuff that's made from it, y'know? A couple of singles which harken seriously to some gutbucket soul have come to my attention of late, and they're both from new artists.

The first is Anthony Hamilton, and don't hate on him for being signed to Dupri's So So Def; Dupri actually deserves some applause for signing Hamilton, whose first single is such a love letter to Bobby Womack it's ridiculous. The production is contemporary, but his voice and topic harken to Womack's "Across 110th Street" (featured on the Jackie Brown soundtrack). Hamilton is on some gritty, low-down shit, and for that we should all rejoice.

The second is an artist I actually discovered via VH-1! Amazingly, they still play videos (about 2 hours a day, I think), and I was fortunate enough to catch Robert Randolph & the Family Band's "I Need More Love" on the channel recently. This is some crazy steel guitar-based Stax/Volt '67 shit, like a gospel rave-up 'cept it's not about church - though it is full of pure unalloyed joy. Su-fucking-perb.

And since we're talkin' country, I've gotta mention Bubba Sparxxx, whose sophomore album Deliverance recently dropped and is seriously hot. Talk that Timbaland saves his best productions for Missy are wrong; this album is jammed full of 'em, and Bubba's either made leaps and bounds as a rapper or I just slept the first time around. "Back in the Mud" is on a rock tip with a classic Tim chorus (and features Bubba spitting awfully fast), "Comin' Round" takes it into a bumpin' bluegrass direction (really - check the fiddle sample!), and "Kuntry Folks" features Cee-Lo on the hook and sounds like a Dirty South anthem-in-the-waiting - except that it's based around acoustic guitar (and is too slow for stick-in-the-mud clubs hungry for crunk). Those are just three highlights from a full-length that's full of 'em. Granted, I haven't heard Jigga's Black Album yet, but is it possible that Bubba's dropped the hip-hop elpee of '03?

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