The internet has brought up the ability to listen and hear from people that we never may have been able to hear 10 years ago. The draw back of the internet that it some how diluted music to the point where any AND anyone thinks they can do it. We are inundated with all kinds of music and it seems more and more great music is pushed to the edge of our musical consciousness. Music has a lot to do with the vibrations of who we are and how we move and live our lives. People ask me all the time what I am rocking on my IPOD and have even put me on new artists (You can hit me on twitter @diggame and email firstname.lastname@example.org). I decided to once again highlight some R&B and Soul Artists that you need to check out especially in the confusing and cluttered landscape of music now. I highlighted 20 great artists in 10 Underrated R&B Soul Artists You Should Know About and then 10 More Underrated R&B Soul Artists You Should Know About and now sit back and learn about 10 more artists I think you should definitely know about.
Robert Glasper is a jazz and soul pianist from Houston who came onto the scene in 2003 with his debut album “Mood”. He would continue to drop great jazz albums and then in 2009 compiled a few other musicians and made a group called The Robert Glasper Experiment. The new album Black Radio is seriously one of the best albums of the year. The album includes appearances from Lalah Hathaway to Mos Def on the album it has stayed in heavy rotation for me.
The Robert Glasper Experiment feat. Bilal and Lupe Fiasco- Always Shine
Funny story about Leela James is that a woman I used to date friend like JUST like her but, I will say that I know her voice didn’t have as much soul and grit to it as James. Leela born in LA came onto the scene with her debut Album A Change is Gonna Come in 2005. She has a sound that gives you a feeling like you attended a back alley café in Chicago during in 1972.
Leela James- Tell Me You Love Me
Jesse Boykins III
You may have heard him before on another artist’s album I featured in the first edition of this series Foreign Exchange on the song “Don’t Make Me a Fool”. Boykins born in the Chi and raised in Miami has a sound that is somewhat in an electronic and funk mood. He has produced music since his limitedly released debut album Dopamine: My Life On My Back EP and anticipated new LP “Love Apparatus” coming out this year.
Jesse Boykins III- Before The Night is Thru
Many times when someone things of Jazz and soul music they don’t really think about the trombone too much. Well, Jeff Bradshaw is changing that up with his flavorful and funk brand. Bradshaw is a former member of Jill Scott’s band and a contributor to the ever popular Unwrapped Jazz series from Hidden Beach Recordings. Jeff dropped his first solo album Bone Deep in 2001 but, it is new album Bone Appétit dropping this month that people are really salivating over appearances from Raheem Devaughn to Marsha Ambrosius.
Jeff Bradshaw feat Marsha Ambrosius and Tywse- Got Til It’s Gone
A union between hip hop icon Brooklyn’s own Talib Kweli and underrated songstress from Philly, Res. The group has doing music on each other’s projects since 2000 but decided to make this music union a group in 2008. Idle Warship is a mix of funk, electronica, and hip hop all in fused between the flow of Talib Kweli and melodic voice of Res. They finally dropped a full length release Habits of the Heart last year.
Idle Warship- Laser Beams
Many of you may remember the group Groove Theory that compromised of Bryce Wilson and the beautiful Amel Larrieux that had a string of hits in the mid to late 90s. Well, after the group parted ways Amel kept doing her thing dropping four successful albums including her critically acclaimed first album Infinite Possibilities. She was even nominated for a Grammy for her sensual love song “For Real” in 2004. The New York born songbird is rumored to be getting back with Bryce Wilson and rekindling that groove Theory torch but that isn’t keeping her from dropping another solo album this year called Ice Cream Every Day.
Amel Larrieux- Weary
I remember first hearing about Adriana Evans because she was one of the few R&B artists signed to Loud Records in the mid 90s and from being on the unheralded track from Dred Scott “Check the Vibe”. Her first album which was self-titled was something that many music fans have definitely slept on. Adriana has produced great music since the late 90s and has been a hit international especially since she relocated to Brazil and incorporated more of an African sound.
Adriana Evans- Love is All Around
Childish Gambino is comedian and writer Donald Glover’s alias which I got from going to a Wu-Tang Clan name generator website. Glover’s sound is something that average black nerdy kid can get into. It is hip hop in its essence but has a lot of soul, energy, and emotion in his music. His newest project Camp takes the listener on a personal journey of an introspective and sometimes awkward person (such as myself) goes through.
I remember when I was in undergrad women were in love with Bilal’s first single “Soul Sista”. Bilal’s first album was one of the most unknown yet known albums of that time. But, it seemed like he fell off because he hadn’t had a studio release in almost 10 years. Collaborating with Common, Talib Kweli, Beyonce, Jay-Z, to Dr. Dre he kept busy. His sound was so captivating that he was able to tour until his newest album Air Tight Release was finally released in 2010.
Bilal- Is This Love?
I am not talking about the iconic Jazz musician John Coltrane but I am talking about the native St. Louis singer. Coultrain came from a big collective music movement that St. Louis had called Soul Tyde that had more members in it than Wu-Tang Clan. Coultrain has a sound that gives you the vibe of the late Donny Hathaway. Coultrain has been on the underground scene nationally and internationally and had many critics loved his Coultrain is Seymour Liberty Project.
Coultrain w/ The Sureshot Symphony Solution-Chair on the Ceiling
- Artist on Artist: Robert Glasper talks to Justin Dillard (chicagoreader.com)
- Morning Soul: I’ll Never Make A Promise That I Can’t Keep (soulbounce.com)
- DivaGeek Ready Their Debut Album, We Can ‘Go For That’ (soulbounce.com)
- Rhythmless & Blues and Fistpump Soul (verysmartbrothas.com)
- The Friday MiniTape – 4.13.12 Edition (racialicious.com)
- What’s In Our Headphones: Rebecca Ferguson (curlydeviants.com)