I want to give a quick plug for R&B artist Rahsaan Patterson, who did not win a Grammy last night, nor was nominated. However, as we all know, the Grammy’s are a bunch of horse-shit. Anyway, his songs have been some of the most solid R&B tracks on my fully loaded 40 gig MP3 player, providing me with much needed solace during stressful bus rides and noisy nighttimes while on my journey in Colombia. Indulging myself (over and over again) in R&B is one of my many guilty pleasures in life, along with shisha, Chartreuse, and dark chocolate. It always calms me down and makes me feel good. But sometimes I just don’t want to listen to old tracks from D’Angelo or Jill Scott anymore, and even Anthony Hamilton’s greatest tracks get old after a while. Well, not really. None of that shit ever really gets that old, that’s the great thing about R&B. Some tracks are better than others, but you can never get tired of the best of Jill Scott (A Long Walk, I’m Not Afraid, Bedda At Home), D’Angelo (Lady, The Root, Untitled, Brown Sugar), Anthony Hamilton (Charlene, Comin’ From Where I’m From, Pass Me Over), Musiq (solong), Dwele (Truth, I Think I Love U), Lauryn Hill (Ex-Factor, To Zion), Sade (By Your Side, Cherish the Day), or Goapele (Closer).
Anyway, this is about Rahsaan. If you’re an R&B fan, which everyone in their right mind should be, then give this guy a listen. So far, his music just gets better with every CD, and every CD gets better with every listen. Which is to say that there is something just past the smooth surface that draws you in. It’s organic, heady, vulnerable, and sometimes even strange.
To warm yourself up to Patterson, first throw on “I Always Find Myself,” from his After Hours album, and see if you don’t find yourself repeating the chorus. It’s got that live sound, unpolished and joyous, and it makes you realize just how much most contemporary R&B is missing. Then put on the Madonna-esque “No Danger,” from his latest, Wine and Spirits, and enjoy the weird beauty of its synthetic polish. The guy is versatile, playful, spiritual, and has a kind of weird-but-wonderful sounding voice. His tracks won’t draw you in immediately, but with repeated and closer listenings, they grow on you until it dawns on you one day that they some of the best shit out there.