If Andre 3000, John Legend, and Solange all got together, got high and were let loose in a studio full of synthesizers, you’d have this EP. Tha Boogie is Raphael Saadiq’s new R&B Alternative group. On first glance, they seem like Lucy Pearl, Part 2 when in fact, they are light years away from that.
“I’m Peter Parker” is a hybrid lounge-rock song that has an easy swing augmented by the vocal distortion which makes the song instantly likeable. The Love Below-esque “The Best Around” sounds like an Andre demo from the chorus to the rap. Sometimes the music needs you to totally focus on it, like the song “Bamboozled”, or tune it out, like the busy elements on “Teach U 2 Fly” for you to enjoy it. But when they get it right, the magic of Tha Boogie is undeniable and “Running Running” is one such song. I think it is safe to say Tha Boogie will have you dancing to their “California Muzik”.
My Pick: “I’m Peter Parker” [Video Here]
Young Nate – A Piece Of Me EP [Download]
3.5 stars out of 5 stars
In the US we tend to be very insular when it comes to music, but the U.K. has a vibrant R&B scene. My favorite newcomer is the 18-year old Young Nate. “Like That” sounds like a mix of Chris Brown and Craig David, which actually is an interesting mix. He sounds a lot older than 18, especially on “Mixed Messages” — it seems like something that Jagged Edge could have handled easily.
Credit cool points to his account for getting the gumption to cover Sam Cooke’s “Hem Of His Garment” a capella and shows us how they have church in London! This kid has potential to really be a force on the music scene.
My Pick: “Mixed Messages”
Lloyd – Like Me: The Young Goldie EP [Download]
4 stars out of 5 stars
Lloyd is one of those artists that either you love him or you hate him; and this go round, I think I love him. With that said, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t make a few faux pas here and there. For instance, in the song “Pusha” he sings:
“Her love is like cocaine, cocaine…Cobain, Cobain, she blows my brain”
Witty; but poor taste in my opinion. “Take It Off” could have been a C-list R&B train wreck. It features J. Holiday and Nicki Mangy Minaj and turns out to be a pretty good song and the twist is that Nicki sings a little at the end and actually sounds as decent as Ciara (in the studio)!
What I like about Lloyd is that he approaches his music as a (good) rapper would, by telling tales of his struggles in “Like Me” and focusing on the events in the world on “Everyday”. He enlists the “it” boy of New School Hip-Hop, Aubrey, I mean, Drake. He does his monotone half-talk/half-sing on the slow burn “A Night Off”. This short EP is filled with a dizzying array of guest features; Lil’ Wayne, Juelz Santana, J. Holiday, Nicki Minaj, Bun B, Mack Maine, Drake and Rich Boy — but they work in concert with and not against him. Lloyd is the star of the show.
My Pick: “Take It Off”