OnLoop 6.1.10

Posted: June 1, 2010 by RA in Music, On Loop
Tags: , , ,

In recent years, we’ve seen a pattern of Soul artists finding a more pronounced Hip-Hop edge in their music. While I’m beginning to wonder if I’m still much of a huge Hip-Hop fan, I love when it provides the foundation of a Soul track.

Eric Roberson – The Newness – 2009

With its sunny, playful sound, it’s the perfect opener to Roberson’s 2009 record, Music Fan First. Alternating between references to the carefree excitement of a new relationship and the excitement at first discovering Hip-Hop, “Newness” finds Erro at his uptempo best. Anyone who’s seen him live will tell you: the man’s a freestyle genius, but here he drops all attempts at melody in favor of a playful, carefree rap verse. It’s a welcome surprise.

Extra Credit: A Tale of Two


Erykah Badu – Twinkle – 2008

Anyone who knows E-Badu knows she’s always had one foot planted squarely in Hip-Hop, but on her modern classic Nu Amerykah Part 1: 4th World War, she goes all the way. From the Soulquarian-achetypal “Soldier” to the space-age manifesto “The Healer”, the directional shift is clear all over the album. Even “Telephone”, the album’s tenderest, most vulnerable moment is an elegy to late Hip-Hop producer J-Dilla. Still, nowhere on 4th World War are Hip-Hop’s fire, urgency, and social commentary better represented than on the apocalyptic gloom of “Twinkle”. From its fiery body to the simmering outro in which a Kemetic recitation flows into an update of the classic Howard Beale monologue from 1976’s “Network”, it’s pure, focused frustration and a call to action, very much the way Hip-Hop’s founding fathers intended it.

Extra Credit: The Healer

Amerie – Why R U – 2009

The Hip-Hop swagger (for lack of a better, less cringeworthy term) on this is so thick, you could cut it with a knife. It’s one thing to sample an old Hip-Hop track, but as she sways and bounces in the song’s video like a latter-day MJB, it’s clear she’s 100% immersed in the sound she pulled from the Ultramagnetic MCs cut, “Ego Trippin”.

Bonus Points: Dwele – Brandi (featuring Slum Village) – 2008

“I didn’t even smash them [DAMN] cakes.” Best line on the song. That is all.


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