The Birmingham outfit P.I.D or Puttin'
It Down Records are back to promote their new material. They have sent me a two
track CD which I presume is some sort of sampler for forthcoming work on their
label. The first track comes from Eshjae who is a pretty soulful singer. This
track Independently the Regulate Remix, is a smooth semi soul, semi RnB
track which has an '80's feel which could remind me of Luther Vandross or Cameo
or even Alexander O'Neil. It is like the music that came out before New Jack Swing.
With its retro feel and the quality of Eshjae's vocals which are about female
strength and determination to support herself I unexpectedly like it. The
arrangement is quite musical with live keys and bass with a low mixed whistle
and 808 beat. The track even has the formulaic one verse rap from Suga J in
which he re-iterates the sentiments of the song. The over the top US accent
actually works this time as to be honest I have so rarely heard a track of this
genre with a UK accent that might seem strange!
The other track is Suga J's Real Killers, the L'roy remix and it is
totally opposite to the previous track. L'roy is one of the labels founders and
here has hooked up a bouncy track with a touch of the South and Luda. The
stabbing bass is mixed with a chiming bell and a whole variety of electronic
sounds, a Theramin type wavy tone and the occasional gunshot. Suga opens up on
the mic and as I'm not totally up on 2Pac and 50 Cent I can't comment with any
certainty, but L'roy has coupled the accapella of All Eyez On Me for a
interesting reversal of the common trend of dropping white labels with UK lyrics
on a popular American beat. As a concept the track works and could find a place
in a club alongside the original, and with Suga J's style he fits in the track
with the other MCs, but Suga J is simply just too American influenced for me to
take him seriously. Maybe it is his African origins which make him sound as he
does, but for someone coming from Birmingham it just isn't what I would expect.
Putting this issue aside it isn't a track I would give 5 mics to, but there
should be many people who will lap this up.