Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Urban music is developing in complexity and diversity. As previous hybrid hip-hop and name your genre projects have seemed to lack authenticity the new BlakRoc project provides an organic success that feels true.
A collaboration of Dame Dash and soulful blues indies The Black Keys, BlakRoc represents an authentic blend that seeps of blissful creativity and skillful musicianship. The Black Keys bring their soulful sound mixed with haunting guitar riffs and virtuoso simplicity on both white and black keys.
"What You Do To Me" is a new age soul, that registers as almost familiar as it grooves so well. With an ode to the Doors Ray Manzarek, the song struts with a storied organ, bass and snare. The video "Welcome To BlakRoc" that accompanied the album purchase on iTunes intrigued me. Married to the track are belting diva Nikki Wray with Jim Jones bringing his signature timbre and steady flow that settles into a cool. Nikke Wray's vocals seem effortless and have the retro appeal of Chrisette Michelle with a fuller vibrato. MOP, Triple O.G. Billy Danze elevates the track to a different energy level as he laces his verse into the cut.
All the while Dame Dash is seen dancing in the back ground with his signature moves and smile of knowing redemption. Almost at times in celebration of this unique project triumph that is leading iTunes sales upon the second day of release 3 spots above Jay-Z's masterful Blueprint 3. It's good to see Dame launch a successful project that has broad appeal without being metal rap. There's enough out there for everyone Rocafella differences aside. BlakRoc has the makings of an instant classic.
The BlakRoc album launched a viral video series that details the studio sessions with the industry heavy weights including, Q-Tip, Raekwon, the RZA, NOE, Pharoahe Monch, Mos-Def, Nikki Wray, Jim Jones and Billy Danze.
Mos-Def recording Session
Throughout the video project there are several recurring themes, the most impactful for me is the creative freedom that The Black Keys employed with their veteran list of collabo captains. The segments are peppered with creative indulgences and almost playful creativity forming into great music. Best of all they captured it all in a smart web video/documentary series that captivates and with every video connects the listener more to the tracks of the album.
Jim Jones recording session.
RZA - Webisode 4
Nicole Wray and Jim Jones Recording
NOE Recording Session
Q-Tip Records with BlakRoc
Billy Danze from MOP
Pharoahe Monch Sessions
Nicole Wray Session
Final Episode 11 - Raekwon
BlakRoc is a great album that expands hip hop culture while remaining true to it. Further inspiration comes from the masterful assembly of guests on the project. For more information on BlakRoc you can visit their site at http://www.blakroc.com.