Friday, Nov 26 2004 | 14:33

Bored with the constraints of existing genres, Plant Life set out to break down the barriers between hip hop, soul, rock and good old fashioned funk music. In the tradition of legendary funk and soul godfathers like James Brown, George Clinton, Sly Stone & Prince, Plant Life serves up a healthy dose of sensuality and politics while providing a groove strong enough to shake the system to its core.

As a member of the Los Angeles based hip hop crew The Animal Pharm, Panda One (the shadowy figure behind Plant Life) helped spread the eclectic sounds of the west coast underground across the globe. With several EP’s and 12″ singles under their belt (including 1996’s critically acclaimed “Pharmaceuticals EP”, 1998’s underground hit “The Brink”, and 1999’s starstudded West Coast collab “You Will Lose” featuring Aceyalone, Spontaneous, & DJ Drez) The Animal Pharm decided to take a two year hiatus to work on their solo projects.

Panda One, after gaining critical acclaim for the tracks he produced for The Animal Pharm, as well as tracks for Medusa (Goodvibe), Buffalo Daughter (Grand Royal), etc., decided that it was time for something new. As Panda One explains it: “At first I wasn’t even sure that what we were doing was anything different than what I had always been doing. I just locked myself in the studio with Jack Splash (the lead singer of the group) and we started making what we thought was some progressive hip hop. It wasn’t until we finished that everyone started telling us that we were doing some different shit!”

Jack Splash breaks it down even further: “There is a movement going on. It’s not necessarily a cohesive movement, but it is definitely a movement. Some of the best emcees like Andre 3000, Mos Def, Cee-Lo, Medusa, Pharoahe Monch, Lauryn, and my crew have been spreading our wings and delivering our messages in a style that’s not really considered rap anymore. I think all of us still consider ourselves hip hop artists first, but the type of music we’re making is something brand new and exciting. There’s definitely elements of funk, soul and a lot of other influences, but we all come from the hip hop generation so the way we do it and the way we write is always going to reflect that.”

Consisting of Jack Splash (lead vocals, instrumentation & production), Panda One (instrumentation & production), Dena Deadly (vocals) and Rashida The Beautiful (DJ and background vocals), Plant Life have created a musical soundscape that critics are considering an instant classic.

Their debut LP “The Return of Jack Splash!” contains elements of 70’s soul & funk, 80’s electro, 90’s b-boy politics and futuristic ideals. In the intro to the album, Jack Splash declares “Fuck their lies and fuck these wars. I put my thing on 24’s. I love these queens but fuck these whores, I’m back!” Politics, 24 inch rims, sex … what more could you ask for? Jack explains: “In the middle of all of the madness that was going on in the world, I decided to put some rims on my Escalade and to stop messing around with all of the strippers that I had been dating. I had been trying to find something beautiful that wasn’t there.” Interesting. Not to be confused as a misogynist though, Jack Splash clearly shows his love, respect and admiration for the ladies in his songs.

Song titles like “Appreciate” and “When She Smiles She Lights The Sky” show the true intent of Plant Life … love. Dealing with issues of addiction (“We Can Get High”, “Bottle of Hope”), love lost (“Why’d U Call Me?”, “Beautiful Babies”), and even world politics (“Got2Get2gether4Luv”), Jack Splash writes from the heart and sings from the soul. When asked about it, he says “I barely even consider myself a singer. I’m more of a writer and a vibist. I’ve always been a fan of singers who had really unique voices that seemed to be singing from the bottom of their heart, like Hendrix, Donald Fagen from Steely Dan, Prince, David Bowie, Todd Rundgren … even Robert Smith from The Cure.” A vibist indeed, from the very first song, the album takes you on a wild and eclectic ride that doesn’t let up until the very end. “The Return of Jack Splash!” is definitely an experience that you won’t forget any time soon.

With critics and like-minded musicians already buzzing about them (while their debut album hasn’t even been released yet!), Plant Life are definitely poised to make their mark in 2004. As Jack explains: “All we really want to do is contribute some serious positivity to the world of music, and if some beautiful ladies shake their asses in the process then I think we did our job!”

Plant Life “The Return Of Jack Splash” (Counterflow / On The Corner) is going to be released December 6, 2004.


01. Jack’s Back
02. Appreciate
03. Underwaterluvboogie (deep blue)
04. When She Smiles She Lights The Sky
05. We Can Get High
06. Bottle Of Hope (Save The World)
07. Why’d U Call Me? (3am)
08. Real Folks
09. Got2Get2gether4Luv
10. Two Beautiful Souls In A Crazy World
11. Beautiful Babies
12. Stardancer
13. The Girl Said … Give It To Me!
14. Luv 4 The World (Why They Gotta Hate?)
15. Precious Heart
16. Table 4 2
17. If I Wuz Ur Man
18. I Know Those Eyes
19. New Day


“Here and there I hear new and different shit, but Plant Life really hit it for the long run, they really took it. SHIT AINT EASY!” Pharell (Neptunes / N*E*R*D)

“Just what I’ve been looking for, the new generation of funk!” Mos Def

“Another piece of the movement a/k/a GOODMUSIC!” Cee Lo

“When we first heard Plant Life we knew there was something different going on … They were pushing buttons of electronic wonder while giving us the sweat and funk of humanity. There’s a beutiful techno funk combo happening within!” Chemical Brothers

“On The Return of Jack Splash, Plant Life doesn’t follow a lot of the boring formulas that are out there today. I LOVE this shit!” Danger Mousey

“Step aside Outkast, we have PLANT LIFE people!” Gilles Petersony (BBC Radio)

“My joint is “Bottle of Hope (save the world)”, that’s IT right there!” Baatin (Slum Village)

“Some futuristic sexy shit, Jack Splash is a pimp.” King Britt

“This Plant Life record will fit perfectly in between my Parliament and club bangers in my record collection.” RJD2

“I want to be on that song “3am”, I love that song!” Vinia Mojica

“I hope this wax is ready to get the shit played out of!” Rich Medina

“I’m a fan, how do I sign up?” Prefuse 73

“I feel like I’m back in the fucking 70’s … nice vibe” John Herndon (Tortoise)

“Definitely some classic songs to fuck up head boards with!” Vikter Duplaix

“All I can say is thank the heavens for this record!” URB Magazine

“Plant Life’s gumbo of soul-disco and cosmic hop spreads a message of love!” VIBE Magazine

“Plantlife have already been named as the next Outkast …. this album provides warm funk for all.” Rolling Stone US

“This album explodes into a fast-paced, guitar-ridden soul party before winding down to melodic whispers about love that complete the flawless course of this album!” XLR8R Magazine

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