Kinky Notti "Succumb" Review - Idol Threat: Warning Shots at the Mainstream

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kinky Notti "Succumb" Review


I know what you’re thinking, “an R&B review? But R&B sucks!” I also know why you’re thinking that, it’s because you’re only exposure to R&B has been the ringtone-sounding, women-hitting, passionlessly auto-tuned, “my dance moves are better than my singing” disposable R&B being played in the media nowadays. I also know your cure for that, and that cure is Kinky Notti. They are proof that you don’t have to sell your soul to make pop music; you just have to sell pop music WITH soul. Hailing from Chicago, Kinky Notti started off as a trio but had trouble filling the 3rd spot, so lead vocalist Tshurhad Chivas & vocalist/producer Havanah Maxie eventually decided to just make the group a duo. Their music touches many reference points including Prince, Timbaland & Chicago House music and at one point they even dubbed their blend of Blues, Hip Hop and Rock “Block Hop.” My first exposure to them was their radio-friendly single with the fiercely radio-unfriendly hook “Nasty Nasty” which was released years ago, and I remembered thinking that if they made a whole album of this caliber then they would definitely become a problem.

And after finally hearing their debut full-length “Succumb” its official; Houston we have a problem. Besides the ‘slang terminology’ meaning of the word their debut also presents a problem in the traditional sense, the fact that such a commercially viable group is still without a record or distribution deal. This is why I highlight the lesser known, just because an artist is underground doesn’t mean that they aren’t commercially appealing. Every track on here could be a lead single, and there isn’t a single dud on this album. If forced to choose I would have to pick “Not the First,” it’s got a real raw beat and cold, detached delivery that belies its serious subject matter. In fact that song embodies what I like most about Kinky Notti, the fact that they often handle their content with subtlety. Mainstream Pop and R&B is oversexed, overdone and overexposed, they lack the grace and mystery that gives a song its smoothness and replay value. Don’t get me wrong, the sex is still there, it's just hidden very cleverly with style and substance (take a good long look at their logo for example.) It’s what I like to call “ass with class,” and it’s the same difference that separates Playboy from Hustler, or Lovers Lane from a Truck Stop Porn shop.

I received the unmastered advance version of “Succumb” last year at their 'House of Blues Industry Listening Party' and it has been in constant rotation ever since (it even got an honorable mention in my
Top 10 Albums of 2009 post.) You can listen to their lead single “Ghetto Love” below and buy the newly mastered tracks on their bandcamp as well. Kinky Notti has also finished wrapping up the video for their lead single and I will post it as soon as it becomes available.




Download the album or individual songs here: http://kinkynotti.bandcamp.com/

Check out their blog: http://kinkynotti.blogspot.com/

Official Website: http://kinkynotti.com/

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