MVM – THE NU-BLACK
Outkast – “Hey Ya” (2003)
Dir. Bryan Barber
I’m sure most of you have noticed how much Hip-hop sucks recently. Artists like T-Pain, Nelly, and Flo-Rida are not only killing the art-form, but they look like clowns while they do it. But there are those few Black artists who are holding it down with real music. That funky, crazy shit, reminiscent of Sly & The Family Stone, Grace Jones, and George Clinton. So I am christening these artists the “Nu-Black.” Making me proud to be a lover of real Black music. These artists are not just those indie kids like Cody Chestnutt or Dead Prez, these artists have support from big time artists and are breaking into the mainstream themselves.
Here is Atlanta’s Janelle Monae. Who killed a few choruses on Outkast’s under-appreciated Idlewild album. She worked with Big Boi again on her debut LP. I love her voice, and that hairdo, looking like Kelis from a few years back.
Janelle Monae – “Many Moons” (2008)
Dir. Alan Ferguson
And here is everyone’s favorite umbrella holder, Mr. Bentley. Finally making music of his own and what do you know, it’s actually good. Doesn’t hurt with Andre 3000 and Kanye backing you up either.
Fonzworth Bentley – “Everybody” (2008)
I’m loving this new group, Sa-Ra Creative Partners. They’ve been getting mad love from unofficial band-mates Erykah Badu and Talib Kweli. And their album is filled with random guest appearances from artists like Kurupt and Pharoahe Monch. Good eclectic mix.
Sa-Ra – “Feel the Bass” (2008)
Dir. Coodie and Chike
These LA natives J-Davey have the perfect combination, sexy lead singer and dope beat maker. They’ll be making big waves in 2009, you can bet on that.
J-Davey – “Mr. Mister” (2008)
This was a gem a few years ago. An alternative Hip-Hop song that got played on mainstream Black radio. So good it makes you forgive the world for not accepting K-Os.
Lupe Fiasco – “Kick, Push” (2006)
Dir. Christopher Adams & Hana McDowell
And of course, N.E.R.D. featuring the real Skateboard P. Along with Outkast, a band that helped start the movement. Pharrell has been repping skateboarding since before Tony Hawk Pro Skater, and wearing trucker hats since before Ashton. Leading the way for a lot of individuality, especially fashion wise, from Black kids.
N.E.R.D. – “Sooner or Later” (2008)
Dir. The Malloys