2015: 15 of the Best. #10 …

December 10, 2012


10. Esperanza Spalding (feat. Algebra Blessett) – Black Gold

From: Radio Music Society
Released: March 20, 2012
Label: Heads Up
Buy it: Here

My main gripe with R&B in this day and age is that heavily-processed stuff like R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” or whatever CeeLo Green might be working on seems to be the first thing that comes to mind. You get your Raphael Saadiqs and Mayer Hawthornes who are trying to recapture a bit of that Motown/Stax magic that used to define what R&B was about, but those artists—popular though they may be—never quite get into the mainstream of collective consciousness. It was interesting to see Radio Music Society get the popularity it did this year, and the heavy use of (gasp!) real musicians playing real music to create a real groove got its due appreciation. “Black Gold” smolders with a groove that owes as much to funk as it does to jazz. Usually when you start doing these kinds of hybrid styles, you can alienate much of your audience, but you don’t have to be a music snob or be black to appreciate this song or the message. You just have to appreciate a good tune when you hear it.

Official video:

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