Ah, remember those nights jamming out in the discotheque to Earth, Wind & Fire and The Commodores? Your sweaty palms nervously smoothing out the creases in your flamboyantly colored, polyester skin-tight suit as you try to work up the courage to ask the club’s resident soul goddess for a dance.
Wait a second – no? You’re drawing a blank? This scene straight out of 1978 isn’t ringing any bells?
Well, don’t worry, because one listen to the debut album from Mayor Hawthorne and Jake One’s new collaborative project, Tuxedo, will have you fantasizing about all of the ’70s and ’80s soul-funk nights that went down before you were ever even a glimmer of a thought in your mother’s mind.
Tuxedo’s self-titled full length was just released via Stones Throw Records this past week, but this kind of music should be no surprise to people who have been following Mayor Hawthorne’s career. The singer has already released a few soul albums that feel like time capsules from the ’70s. Now, with the influence of hip hop producer Jake One (who has produced songs for Drake, Rick Ross and Chance the Rapper, as well as an excellent collaborative album with Freeway in 2010, The Stimulus Package), the duo are bringing back the funkified sounds of 30 years past to the ears of those who weren’t even born at the time. What goes around comes back around, indeed!
Hip hop fans will recognize plenty of the West Coast’s G-funk on the album. Hawthorne and Jake One essentially remade Snoop Dogg’s classic “Ain’t No Fun” into the deliciously funky “Number One.” Even better is the energetic “Do It.” The song originally appeared in 2013 as a Pitbull-fronted vehicle, but Mr. Worldwide is nowhere to be seen on Tuxedo’s album. (And, of course, the song is all the better due to that absence.)
So, check out the time machine – err, I mean “album” – and let things get a bit funky. Just don’t blame us if these tunes inspire a change in your wardrobe.