The best soulful hip hop album I have heard in so long I think I might have Alzheimer’s. At times, thumping, soulful and intelligent (and usually all three at once), it is hard to imagine a more satisfying hip hop / soul album coming out this year.
While others sample and pay lip service to funk and soul giants like Parliament or Stevie Wonder, PPP have the musical skills to make music that borrows vibes from the greats but bends the sounds to their own purposes. Take the funky ‘Deep Inside’ (Featuring Sa-Ra Creative Partners) for example. It could be Parliament or Bootsy they are combining with to make this sound. Or how about the soulful singing on’ Fever’ (Featuring Zeno)? Instant classic.
Equally as convincing are the harder edged tracks featuring the excellent Jay Dee such as ‘Shotgun Intro’ and ‘Act Like You Know’. Powerful hip hop attitude.
Clearly being on a label with a sense of momentum like Ubiquity gives them access to fellow creative minds and a huge boost. As Wajeed told Fly, Ubiquity is “Experimental, focused and kickazz!!!” Which pretty much describes this release.
Although not out even in the States until May 10, 2005, this album has already garnered a great reaction, “Wow! I listened to the album seven times in a row……. I made 23 friends listen to the album 3 days straight……. at gunpoint — I’m on the run. I will go to jail for PPP.” ?UESTLOVE (The Roots).
British readers will be aware of PPP through ‘I Got You’ — which was nominated for Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide track of the year. Indeed, if any guest artist on this release steals the show it has to be Tiombe Lockhart. Edgy and soulful in equal measure this is a voice to keep tuned to. Both ‘Now or Never’ and the previously mentioned ‘I Got You’ provide a deeply rewarding marriage of intelligent lyrics, a beautiful voice and top class tunes. What more can you ask?
Well you could ask for a touch of humour every now and then but they have thought of that too. You really are going to have to work very hard indeed not to fall in love with this release. God damn, they even resurrected ’50 Ways to Leave Your lover’ and made it sound fresh.
Buy this and catch them live in Europe or the States this summer.
Ubiquity Records (URCD/LP168)
PPP on Ubiquity
Ubiquity Records – Feature on Fly
PPP EUROPEAN TOUR (APRIL/MAY 2005)
Apr 21: Leeds — The HiFi Club
Apr 22: Sheffield — The Stars Suite (Pho-Netics)
Apr 23: Manchester — The Music Box (Friends and Family)
Apr 24: Liverpool — Magnet Club (No Fakin)
Apr 25: Brighton — Audio
Apr 28: London — Cargo w/ Gilles Peterson
Apr 29: NL — Den Haag Festival à The Open Air Stage
Apr 29: Amsterdam — The Paradiso
Apr 30: Amsterdam — Queensday Festival
May 2: Dusseldorf — Club Unique (w/ Keb Darge)
May 4: Koln — Stadgarten
May 5: Hamburg — Prinzenbar
May 6: Berlin — CafÈ Maskau (w/ Jazzanova)
May 7: Munchen — Ampere
May 8: Wien — b72
PPP NORTH AMERICA TOUR (MAY-JULY 2005)
May 12: 5th Ave. Downtown 2100 WOODWARD AVENUE, Detroit MI, 9pm.
May 16: Black Cat – Backstage, 1811 14th Street (By S Street), Washington DC, 8:30pm.
May 19: SOB’s, 204 Varick St , New York NY, 10pm
May 25: MJQ Concourse, 736 Ponce de Leon Place, Atlanta GA
June 2: W/ special guest: Medaphor (Stones Throw), Mighty, 119 Utah St, San Francisco CA, $10.00
June 3: THE CONGA ROOM 5364 WILSHIRE BLVD, Los Angeles, 9pm
July 8: CIBC Stage, 235 Queens Quay West , Toronto Ontario