"I can't control the soul flowing in me..." Erykah Badu - Appletree
I love that song, so many good quotes to take from it that ring true.
I have not graced these pages in a while with an artist or album that has put the santaria, holy spirit and all of that on me. I have been very inconsistent with that, so I have decided to make Friday's the day to bestow my peoples with my and our favorite picks.
With all of the talk going round about his upcoming trilogy, I only felt it was right to put in my two cents. So today I have decided to choose an album and artist that is very close to my heart:
Now I have to explain something, so y'all don't think I am going out of my mind. Anyone who knows me, is well aware of the love I have for this artist and man. I admire him for his artistic merit, I admire him for his lyrical prowess, I admire him for the crazy, sexy music that he continues to deliver and of course I admire him because he is fine as all hell. Not to mention, we share the same date of birth. I have been fortunate to interview many artists over the years (Brandy, Pete Rock, Tamia, Teedra Moses, Syleena Johnson to name a few...) and I am really not one to be star struck. HOWEVER this is one interview that would have my knees trembling and my mind circling in loops. I would love to sit down with Maxwell and pick his brain on how his thought process works when writing a song. I would like to find out why he cut his lovely tresses off and what exactly makes Maxwell the man and artist tick. This is one interview, if it ever came my way and as professional as I am and can be, that will have my stomach turning in knots and blushing like a little girl.
Oh sweet lord when this CD was released...or better yet, I remember the first time I heard this song. I happened to be in NYC at the time, listening and of course taping some jams from The Quiet Storm on WBLS. When this song came on, it was one of those moments when a wave of sumthin' sumthin' came over me. The wave where you have to call your man and tell him about the song you just heard that has to be added to your slow jam cassette. You know what I'm talkin' 'bout! So of course I taped it and that was the beginning of my love for Maxwell. Urban Hang Suite is a masterpiece (in my eyes), it is your quintessential soul album. Sexy funk interludes, lovemaking tracks and just smooth and impeccable song writing. When the video came out for "Til The Cops Come Knockin," it was over from there. Maxwell at that point had every soul loving woman eating from the palm of his hand and ready to bless him with their panties. Sexy, reassuring, voice purring and cooing about holding one hostage doing unspeakable things until the cops break down the door - every woman's fantasy. After dropping that phenomenal track, he hit us with "Sumthin' Sumthin", "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder) and "Whenever, Wherever, Whatever." Each song delivering with the delicacy of a rose petal on one hand and the intensity of Marvin Gaye on the other - it was insane.
Maxwell did not just stop there, for that was just the beginning of what was yet to follow. I can basically have a discussion on each album that he released: the EP from MTV Unplugged, Embrya and Now. Each album had it's own distinct sound and his writing evolved and took on new heights. I mean come on! "Submerge within the light/illuminate my night/and let your atmosphere surround me?" Wow...and there is so much more from where that came from. A lot of critics said that his writing was too convoluted, but not to worry because his fans clearly understood. I found myself on a Maxwell hunt, purchasing every album that he was featured on from the Love Jones soundtrack to the Sweetback (and don't even get me started on Stuart Matthewman!) album. Name it and everything in between, I bought it. And then poof...like magic, he was gone.
Leaving everyone jonesin' from 2001 was hard to deal with, but a little hope came our way when he started popping up. He was featured on the collabo with Nas on "No One Else In The Room" and the "Luxury" remix from the Cottonbelly NYC Sessions in 2004. Then when rumors started circulating about his new album, everyone was minding their p's and q's making sure to find the correct info. Well, it's no longer a rumor ladies and gents, Maxwell will be gracing us with Black Summer's Night. The album is said to be a trilogy and one album will be released each year over the span of the next three years. The first installment will be Black and that will be in stores soon (as per Maxwell's blog, it is coming but there is no date yet), while next year we will see Summer's (in '09), followed by Night (in '10). Please visit Maxwell's MySpace page for a preview of his new exquisite track "Pretty Wings." Mmmm mmmm, this song really hits home for me at the moment, I cannot wait to hear the whole track! I am sure that this album and the following two will be an immediate addition to any soul lovers collection. I am anxiously awaiting the releases, believe me. I think this is the second most exciting thing for me right now, besides my George Michael concert. And y'all know how excited about that I am.
Oh and by the way I AM GOING TO SEE GEORGE!! TIX HAVE BEEN PURCHASED and there's no stopping me now!
And on that note, I had to be real about the choice of the flashback of the day. I really think that this woman is serious. I always liked her work and besides, Maxwell's version did the damn thing and is forever etched in my brain.
See y'all soon, have a good weekend.