He needs a dollar
November 1, 2010 2:29 AM   Subscribe

Aloe Blacc, previously of LA-based hip hop duo Emanon, pulls a Cee-Lo and reinvents himself as a soul singer.

Blacc's "I Need A Dollar" is the theme song of the HBO show How To Make It In America. He was recently interviewed on NPR.

Part 2 - in which Blacc covers the Bill Withers classic, Use Me. The videos are part of La Blogothèque's video podcast, Take Away Shows.
posted by joedan (9 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Yay, one less MC! (Just kidding, I love rappers, mostly.) I had only ever heard the theme song from the show which I enjoyed more than the show itself. In watching the podcast, I'm thinking about all the reasons why a guy might go from rapping to soul singing. Given rap's chart dominance over soul, money or fame can't be one of them, which is odd to me as I think of modern rappers as aspirational. This video podcast, while great, makes him seem more retro than he is, I'm guessing. I watched a little of the Jamie Lidell one (for an old-school soul comparison) and he seems retro too, which he isn't really, being on Warp records and all. The Take Away Shows look terrific. Great resource, thanks!
posted by acheekymonkey at 4:28 AM on November 1, 2010

Actually, Aloe Blacc has made no secret of singing from his soul. Give a listen to "Busking" and "I'm Beautiful" from his 2006 debut album.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:22 AM on November 1, 2010

Good post aloe blacc is badass.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:41 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

When I first heard "I Need a Dollar" while driving through north Jersey this spring, I could've sworn it was Bill Withers. He's good.
posted by limeonaire at 5:53 AM on November 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

At first the poorly-spaced fonts made me wonder if this was yet another overproduced video highlighting mediocre singing.

No – It was good. Definitely a less-produced version of Cee-Lo, but my head started bobbing and I started enjoying the video quite a bit! Thanks!
posted by kurosawa's pal at 6:35 AM on November 1, 2010

Senior year of high school (2001), I listened to this song obsessively: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEcho07qItk
posted by outlandishmarxist at 7:02 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I sort of liked the few Aloe Blacc from the few songs I'd heard of his before, but I really like these performances. At first I thought the format was sort of contrived, but the band and Aloe are really talented live performers.
posted by codacorolla at 10:03 AM on November 1, 2010

Slightly unrelated, but Cee Lo Green's new solo album, which is pretty damn good if I say so myself, is now streaming in its entirety on NPR's first listen.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:27 AM on November 1, 2010

This was good, thanks.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:02 PM on November 1, 2010

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