First Listen: Black London reimagines D'Angelo classic

(March 6, 2021) D’Angelo’s Voodoo is one of those records that represented a high point of the genre that is represented. When people talk about the great albums of the neo-soul era of the late 1990s and early 2000’s Voodoo will viewed as one of the seminal works of that time. For many, the eyes and ears go to the romantic D’Angelo of “Untitled (How Does It Feel)’ or his remake of “Feel Like Making Love.”

(March 6, 2021) D’Angelo’s Voodoo is one of those records that represented a high point of the genre that is represented. When people talk about the great albums of the neo-soul era of the late 1990s and early 2000’s Voodoo will viewed as one of the seminal works of that time. For many, the eyes and ears go to the romantic D’Angelo of “Untitled (How Does It Feel)’ or his remake of “Feel Like Making Love.”

However, tracks such as “Devil’s Pie” showed D’Angelo’s keen political eye and his ability to write protest records that are both epic and polemical. And it is interesting that as the Oakland based collective Black London prepared to release a cover song from Voodoo, the song “Devil’s Pie” is the song that they chose to release. It just feels right on time that this band’s jazz-inspired rendition of “Devil’s Pie,” a song about a society that eats the toxic ingredients of greed and materialism offered by this system, would come out in this moment.

The track features the vocals of Viveca Hawkins, and she brings the voice of a soulful teacher and conversationalist to the track, as she engages in a musical conversation with the tenor saxophone. Black London is the brainchild of Bay Area artists and band leaders Kev Choice, Mike Blankenship and Howard Wiley. The three men were members of Lauryn Hill’s band in 2007, with Choice serving as musical director, and all three men have gone on to establish themselves as band leaders.

“Devil’s Pie” is included on Black London’s upcoming album Black Magic and is the first of interpretations from Voodoo. Check out “Devil’s Pie” here.

By Howard Dukes

Black London feat. Viveca Hawkins
"Devil's Pie"
 
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