Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mayer Hawthorne & Jake-One 'Duke It Out' at The New Amsterdam Vodka Tennis Classic to Become "Number One" (Tuxedo)




Not trying to brag here whatsoever, but I've been on the Mayer Hawthorne New-Wop "bandwagon" since day one; I can remember seeing him on what I believe was his first tour behind A Strange Arrangement (2009) at First Unitarian Church in South Philly. Mayer Hawthorne & The County (which then, still included Topher Mohr) essentially played a church basement to a room full of colorfully diverse concert-goers: Hip-Hop heads, "preppy" kids decked out in suits and ties — much like my buddy Brad and I, Indie Rock hipsters, and a handful of displaced Punk Rockers. J Dilla's right-hand man, DJ Houseshoes opened the night's show with a barrage of white people-friendly Hip-Hop classics including Dilla, A Tribe Called Quest, Jaylib, and "I don't know why the f*ck I'm f*ckin' with you" (which distinctively sticks out ha). After the concert, I immediately bolted back to my car to grab my pseudo-alligator skin A Strange Arrangement LP, which Mayer graciously signed, "HELLO? MATT? MH <3." Since that fateful night, Hawthorne has moved from Stones Throw to the major leagues, collaborated with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg, released an Electro-Funk album under the guise "Jaded Inc." recorded a Pants Plays Mayer split 45 with outsider artist James Pants, even managed to play a couple gigs alongside John Mayer, and most excitingly... has finally returned to Stones Throw to unleash his Disco-Funk "debut," Tuxedo with producer buddy Jake-One.


Roughly two years ahead of Tuxedo's self-titled Stones Throw-facilitated debut, a then largely anonymous Mayer Hawthorne & Jake-One let loose their quick-strike Tuxedo Funk EP; although rest assured, Hawthorne and Jake-One were diligently hard at work on their Disco-Funk magnum opus long before Justin Timberlake decided to don a "Suit & Tie" or the recent wave of Bruno Mars-ian Blue-Eyed Soul ever came to fruition. The Funky roots of Tuxedo seem to trace back to about 2006, when Mayer Hawthorne aka DJ Haircut and Jake-One exchanged a couple of mood-setting mixtapes, AR Music and Shoot The Duck, and the rest, as they say, is history. This, somehow leads us to the second postcard 45 single culled from Tuxedo, "Number One," right behind "Do It," which was effectively re-released from Tuxedo Funk EP. "We always wondered what the original sample was for Snoop [Dogg]'s "Ain't No Fun (If the Homies Can't Have None)." Since we couldn't figure it out, we decided we would make it," Tuxedo lamented in a recent Stones Throw press release. "Number One"'s M. Corey Whitted-directed video follows the off-kilter lead previously set by Tuxedo's "Do It" small screen treatment; wherein Mayer Hawthorne & Jake-One compete in what's been ingeniously dubbed the New Amsterdam Vodka Tennis Classic, essentially a slick 1980's Boggie-Funk-indebted ruse to attempt to swoon a couple of foxy ladies. Tuxedo's self-titled Disco-Funk debut is currently available in deluxe 2LP, gold cassette, standard CD, and digital packages over at The Stones Throw Store.

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