MobbDeen: Tuxedo Funk And/Or How to Rate White R&B

Deen’s advice column is coming soon. From now on, every time that I write about R&B or pop music, I’ll be comparing it Justin Timberlake’s latest effort: The 20/20 Experience....
By    April 3, 2013

Deen’s advice column is coming soon.

From now on, every time that I write about R&B or pop music, I’ll be comparing it Justin Timberlake’s latest effort: The 20/20 Experience. “Why?” Because the distinct aroma of averageness leaking from that album makes it the perfect threshold for good vs. not good determination. Basically, if your shit sucks more than 20/20 – it sucks. If your album is even slightly more interesting, then it’s good. Simple as.

But on to why we’re here today. I’m here to add Tuxedo’s EP to the list of good R&B/pop albums of 2013. Tuxedo is a rumored pairing of Mayer Hawthorne & Jake One.  The former is reknowed for his sincere & expertly executed Motown revivalist/horndog white nigga loverman schtick, while the latter is a long respected rap production vet outta Seattle with credits ranging from indie solo work (White Van Music was my shit) and an entire collaborative project with Freeway (The Stimulus Package – still pausing that title) to 50 Cent’s ‘Movin On Up” and last summer’s overrated ass “3 Kings” for Rawse. The latter may also be a white nigga. To be honest, that last “fact” is neither relevant nor in doubt, but I’m tryna win a bet.

Anyway, this rumored cool white nigga pairing dropped this 3 song EP a lil while ago & I’ve been feverishly awaiting the opportunity to use it to bait some purrrrty ass wimminz since. I hear a decent number of influences in this shit – predominantly the kind of electro-funk vibe you’d get from Dam-Funk today or a slightly less exuberant Zapp & Roger yesteryear. That’s a compliment. I dig this.

It’s also really refreshing to hear both white niggas take on new roles. Jake One’s primarily worked with rappers and Mayer’s stuck pretty close to the oldie vibe that got him noticed in the first place (A Strange Arrangement STILL knocks). So a funk workout from these two is a welcome, if tragically abridged development from these fellas – especially when the execution is this fantastic.

There’s just a sense of risk and experimentation in this Tuxedo EP that’s lacking in the soundtrack to Budweiser’s latest ad campaign. Neither project is the most innovative sounding white nigga R&B poppin at the moment (that honor goes to inc.’s “No World by a longshot), but there’s a palpable sense of coolness on this Tuxedo EP that’s sorely lacking on that cowardly new Timbaland ‘O’ Lake snoozefest of competence. The best thing about 20/20 is that these songs aren’t about Cameron Diaz.  Also, I really wanna make a quip about Tuxedos being more formal than Suits & Ties, but my orphanage raised me better than that.

Don’t forget that I’m a hater, so take all of this with a grain of oregano or molly or whatever the fuck white niggas cook with these days. But I recommend Tuxedo – highly. And just so we have a baseline for the year, here’s the “official 2013 Mobbdeen best white nigga R&B” list:

1. inc. – No World
2. Tuxedo – Tuxedo EP
3. Mayer Hawthorne’s Solo Shit
4. Robin Thicke’s Marvin Rip-Off with all the titties in the video.
5. The Coward, Justin Timberlake’s, perfectly competent and average assassination of Timbaland’s understated return to form post-fat nigga’s unfortunate dalliances with EDM rubbish for 5 years.
6. You’re rubbish if you’re below JT.

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