Meshell Ndegeocello – The World Has Made Me The Man of My Dreams
It started on Peace Beyond Passion when she declared all she ever wanted was a “Niggaman” over a static humming bass lick. The failure of this man to appear prompts the bassplayer poet to take his place. Moody and drawing from funk, indian scales, punk, and occasional blazing guitar. The critiques of media whores, self, fatherhood and her standard celebrations of the sensual proves again why she is the contemporary funk goddess.
Will.I.Am-Songs About Girls
Pop music from Black Eyed Peas founder and frontman about the nooks and crannies of a long-term relationsip that ended. The textures of the music go from galaxian (You’re A Star”) to gutter (“Donque Song.”) A reminder of a time when pop music was fun and not a playground for niche snobs.
More from Brooklyn’s most favored backpack rapper who plays host to UGK, Jean Grae, Norah Jones, KRS-1 and a wrongheaded attempt at mainstream entry with Justin Timberlake. Kweli’s syllables cuts through the blather of lesser emcees especially when he identifies the poetry of everyday life.
The 3-man producer team release their first full-length project. Trips through the sonic backyards of Funkadelic, J.Dilla, Brooklyn, R&B, Prince a la Vanity Six and west coast rap give the album a leftfield kind of feeling. But that is what makes Sa Ra interesting and so much more than their hazy underground hit “Glorious.”
Rahsaan Patterson – Wine And Spirits
One of soul music’s most underrated released his second independent album with the swagger of Raphael Saadiq’s Gospeldelic vibe. Patterson samples soul eras from the ’60’s up to the present by tapping into Muscle Shoals’ rhythm, playing with P-Funk and singing his straight-ahead ballads like “Stop Breaking My Heart.” The only thing different is the
dark Biblical rock tune “Pitch Black.”
Superfly’s kids play with mpcs, rhythm and rhyme, and a loose narrative of old adapted to a hip-hop generation. The cinematically aural follow-up to first album Spirit In Stone that suprised anyone who read their bio because good hip-hop and Portland were never before connected. Curtis Mayfield’s spirit overshadows the funk jazz Daisy-Age enchantment of Vursatyl, Jumbo and Rev Shines.
Musiq Soulchild- Luv And Musiq
The Philly favorite always balances his projects with an even amount of melody, rhythm and blues which gratifies soul-loving karoake participants and picky purists. His Stevie Wonder-styled earthiness and vulnerability endear him to women and men. Another follower of the hip-hop soul
method he can sing over a cherished sample (Taana Gardner’s “Heartbeat”) or croon organically new material with Raphael Saadiq (“Betterman”) without distorting the masculinity question.