Five Rea5ons to be Excited About Dwele’s W.W.W.

Posted: May 31, 2010 by RA in Music
Tags: , ,

dWWWele

Dwele (Andwele Gardner, if you nasty) is one of the most influential voices in Hip-Hop today — an especially notable accomplishment, considering he’s a Neo-Soul singer. And I say this not just because he’s one of my favorite artists. From Common to Kanye to Foxy, when you want a great voice on a Hip-Hop track, Dwele has become that artist you hope is available. Why? He’s part of a growing crop of Soul artists with styles firmly rooted in Hip-Hop. Yes, he’s absolutely brilliant on Quiet Storm cuts with folks like Boney James(!!), but he’s at his best on the songs that hint at his past as an MC. Luckily, that’s 80% of his catalog. I expect nothing less of his latest offering, W.ants W.orld W.omen, slated for a June release. 

I’m excited. You should be too. Here are 5 reasons why: 

  

Some Kinda...

 1. Some Kinda… 

One of the ultra rare start-to-finish albums in today’s musical landscape, the 2005 (major-label) sophomore offering Some Kinda… is pure perfection. Or as close to it as we’re getting these days. From the Jazz-lounge simmer of “Wake the Baby” to the West-Coast bump of “Know Your Name” and the Neo-Blaxploitation strut of “A Pimp’s Dream”, Some Kinda… revels in stylistic diversity without sacrificing conceptual cohesion. It’s a showcase not for Gardner’s vocal prowess, but his uncanny talent for creating a mood through impeccable writing, production, and a sharp sense of humor (see the almost imperceptible variation in the call-and-response pre-hook of “Holla” — hint: “chickens say”). 

   

2. He Knows the Right People 

With a Dwele guest spot, you don’t get the sense that one label simply cut a check for another — Gardner seems to work exclusively with artists with whom he has stylistic similarities (and Foxy… but that was probably a really big check). Whether inviting former mentors Slum Village to flow on “Brandi” or getting pulled onstage for an impromptu performance of his (Roberson-penned) single “Hold On”, he stays close to his Motown-born, Philly Soul-bred, Dilla-schooled roots.  

3. The Harmonies 

Dwele, like everyone and their mother, is a fan of multi-tracking his own voice to achieve the effect made famous by Marvin Gaye on the What’s Going On album. But unlike the aforementioned mothers (save for fellow harmony maven Mariah Carey), he often gets it right. Whether crooning about forgetting his recording equipment back home (“5 Dolla Mic”), or using animal noises in an attempt to hype a crowd (the aforementioned ‘Holla”), he understands the vast potential of the voice as a musical instrument.

4. The Slow-Burners 

Sure, 2008’s Sketches of a Man features a cut subtitled “Wake the Musical Baby”, but the album’s true successor to Boney James-assisted “Wake The Baby” is the lamenting “Vain”. I could talk more about these songs, or I could just let you listen. If you have a pulse, I dare you to keep your head and feet still while “Vain” is on. 

Wake The Baby Vain   

5. This Teaser

6.29.10

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