2/22 Jesse Boykins III CD Release Party
Posted by novoscene on February 22, 2008
While I admit I’m not the most R&B friendly music listener, the last couple of years have been good ones for the both the Rhythm and the Blues. The genre’s recovered from a nasty case of Neo Soul that while sometimes inspirational, was the kind of sweet more in line with saccharine than molasses and tended to leave a bad aftertaste.
But in the 41510, hometown darlings Ledisi, Goapele, Keyshia Cole and Jennifer Johns have been making big moves, while the national scene has seen inspiring work from the likes of Erykah Badu, Dwele, Sa-Ra and Martin Luther among others. All have the smoothness required for those late night cuddle sessions, but enough substance that you don’t feel guilty the morning after.
The latest young lion to toss his hat into the ring for nu soul ruler is Brooklyn’s Jesse Boykins III, whose debut EP “Dopamine: My life on My Back” is a purging collection of 8 tracks spawned from a lost love.
Born in Chicago, raised in Miami and Jamaica and now making his way in NY, Boykins’ music is as heavy and rhythmic as each of the locales he’s called home. While primarily a soul singer, various tracks found on the internet show that he’s comfortable riding just about any rhythm, from a smooth R&B croon on songs like “Amorous” to spitting rap cadences over rock guitars on “Pet Peeves” to weaving his voice in front of, behind and through the pop synth grooves of tracks like “Blackberry” and “Ointment” with friends and collaborators Big Mono.
A graduate of New York’s New School, Boykins honed his songwriting and vocals with classical music trainer Kamal Scott and Universal Music recording artist Bilal. His songwriting showcases a poet’s ear for words and in the case of “Dopamine,” someone not afraid to put his personal business out there if there’s a chance it’ll make the music stronger.
But while his R&B chops are tight, it’s Boykins’ more out there musical experiments that are really exciting. Although not formally connected, these tracks place him on par with a movement of young artists like Wale, Santo Gold and Femi and Jennifer Johns-vocalists who live in the urban music world but who aren’t afraid to drop a little drum n bass, classical or even metal into a set.
An admitted fan of Coldplay, the Beetles and Radiohead in addition to soul masters like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, Boykins says he’s comfortable singing over just about any genre and believes that “music is just music. ” There’s no telling what tonight’s CD release party will bring, but it’s guaranteed to be a good time. After all, good music is good music, right?-kwan
Jesse Boykins III CD Release Party
The Black New World Social Aid and Pleasure Club
Black News World
836 pine street, Oakland