Album:Lift Your Spirit
Aloe Blacc may seem like an overnight sensation. But he's actually been recording solo CDs since 2003. He started as a rapper and seems to be more of a singer now. Lift Your Spirit is his major label debut CD and The Man is his breakthrough hit. He was born Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III Jan. 7, 1979 in Laguna Beach, CA. The name Aloe Blacc means nothing. He just wanted a smooth name. He learned to play trumpet as a child and credits rapper LL Cool J as a big influence. In 1995, he formed Emanon with hip hop DJ Aleksander "Exile" Manfredi. Blacc was a rapper at the time and was attending USC. He graduated in 2001 and left music for a while. He returned with a 2003 EP. Then he recorded two CDs for Stone's Throw Records. Blacc's 2010 single I Need A Dollar was a hit everywhere but the US. It reached #2 on the British singles chart. Then he sang lead on the 2013 top five hit Wake Me Up by the Swedish DJ Tim "Avicii" Bergling. This got him a deal with Interscope. Lift Your Spirit was released Jan. 2014 and The Man reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it was a worldwide hit. Lift Your Spirit was mostly produced by Eminem producer DJ Khalil. If you have heard The Man, you'll know that the song is based on the chorus of the Elton John and Bernie Taupin classic Your Song. There's no doubt that familiarity helped the single. For me, The Man depends on Your Song a little too much. Blacc, Khalil, jazz pianist Sam Barsh and bassist Daniel Seeff all get a songwriting credit. The record was used in commercials for Beats By Dre and promos for the Major League Baseball All Star Game. Blacc has been named an advisor on the upcoming season of The Voice. Can Blacc sustain this success? His singles since The Man have not charted. I'd like to see him have success with a more original song. This record uses a classic song too much for my liking. That is a hip hop pet peeve of mine. Even if Blacc's singing career doesn't take off, he has a bright future as a producer and songwriter. Here's the video for The Man by Aloe Blacc. The video has several civil rights and musician references including Marvin Gaye, Clifford Brown and Stevie Wonder.