Us3 - Say What!?
It was way back in 1994 that Us3 claimed their biggest hit with the Herbie Hancock-sampling Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia). Despite releasing several albums since then, they disappeared into relative obscurity and have failed so far to emerge.
Say What!? kicks off promisingly with Say You Belong To Me, a track which deliberately aims for that funky R&B sound best done recently by Amerie. Featuring the vocals of new discovery Adeline, it's the kind of song which with a decent push would be all over the radio this summer.
Unfortunately, the rest mostly sticks to the Cantaloop formula: laidback beats, rapping, a dash of turntablism and bursts of jazz. And it's rather boring. This music reckons it's steeped in cool, but cliché might be a more appropiate term. Money On My Mind is the anti-wealth obsession track and Afrodisiac is, presumably, for humping to, but has only a marginal erotic edge over imagining Maggie Thatcher. On the cludgie. One suspects even the bloody Black Eyed Peas have attempted similar things with greater success.
If you want a more thrilling example of the intersection between jazz and hip-hop, I direct you to Know What I'm Sayin'? from last year's zerodB album.