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Tuesday, Mar 07 2017 | 10:33
Image: 1609089 "The only time you wear a Tuxedo is when it's time to party."
So says legendary West Coast player Snoop Dogg on the opening track
of Tuxedo II. The blessing of the Doggfather is of special importance to Mayer
Hawthorne and Jake One, whose second album as a duo finds them at the
forefront of a new wave of gangster boogie - one that owes as much to G-funk
as P-funk. This is the territory of pre- and post-hydraulic low riders: a mélange
of Cali boom-bap, analog synth bass and elegant disco that resonates truth
and authenticity in an era where so many are faking the funk.
Bonding over a shared love of Chic, Parliament, and the other signs in the
greater funk Zodiac, Mayer Hawthorne (Aquarius) and Jake One (Taurus)
were early predictors of the sea changes that American music would undergo
in 2016. Their first release in March of 2015 debuted at #1 on iTunes
America's RnB charts, christened as “Dance Floor Catnip” by the Boston
Globe, and “Pure disco-funk hot fire” by Okayplayer. Considering their
individual successes (Mayer's four solo albums, Jake's production work for
the likes of Drake, Future, The Weeknd, and De La Soul) and five GRAMMY
nominations between the two of them, it's no surprise that their powers
combined have yet again yielded a bevy of absolute slappers that are
packaged perfectly for dance parties in 2017. The material here, while wholly
original, is an exercise in honoring its forebears. Tuxedo’s II recalls the future
funk wobble of Zapp, Gap, Jam/Lewis and Junie Morrison, while nodding
lyrically to Mtume, Jodeci and Cameo. The crystallization of the album's
concept comes courtesy of its message of universal love, thanks to the
signature combination of soul and pop sensibility that have come to define
Mayer's hooks.
"You gotta do what you love..." says Mayer in a recent interview with
Nordstrom's style blog, one of the many fashion outlets to cover Tuxedo's
rise. After all - the transcendental ritual of the party and the rippling self
affirmation of the funk are of one spirit: the spirit of self-love...of self
expression. Tuxedo II is a modern testament to unity and positivity in trying
times. It is a reminder that the dance floor will always be there to welcome
you, whoever you are.
Do you Fux with the Tux?

1. Fux with the Tux
2. 2nd Time Around
3. Take a Picture
4. Rotational
5. Shine
6. Scooter’s Groove
7. U Like It
8. Back In Town
9. Special
10. Livin’ 4 Your Lovin’
11. July Available from 31.03.2017
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