Paul White is a busy boy, hot on the heels of his solo project on R & S here comes a new collaboration with Florida vocalist Eric Biddines. Paul White made his name initially with psychedelic beat tapes, such as ‘Sounds From The Skylight’ and the excellent ‘Paul White & The Purple Brain’; drawing on influences from around the globe and wrapping them around tight beats and smoky vibes he looked like South London’s answer to Madlib. So what did he go and do? He’s done a Madlib and put out his ‘Shaker Notes’ album of future electronic jazz and broken beats (see Madlib’s DJ Rels alias for the comparison).
Now he is back on the collaborations; after a well received hook up with Homeboy Sandman on Stones Throw, he is returning to the hip-hop sound of before, but this time it sounds like he could blow up big time. ‘Golden Ticket’ has the potential to draw a big, big audience. Thats not to say it’s pop, or commercial — rather that it has a real clean, strong sound that is packed with hooks, strong songs and the kind of potential for crossover that saw Outkast move into the big league. Tracks like ‘Down South Boogie’ have a fat groove that would do damage on the best dancefloors, its a real hip swinger of a tune that will worm its way into your brain (in a good way).
Eris Biddines is a worthy partner – the musical production is tight as you’d expect from White, but Biddines easy flow recalls Q Tip – which for me is no bad thing at all. The Florida rapper joins with Mos Def a.k.a. Yasiin Bey on the title track ‘Golden Rules’, and doesn’t shrink in comparison. Elsewhere tracks like ‘Auntie Pearl’s House’ take White from South London to Southern USA — its stylings against the tough beats are a captivating blend. The blues heavy groove is repeated across the album, but is never gimmicky — rather, it’s well suited to Biddines voice. His flow matches the lazy grooves and trippy details that White overlays to keep things interesting. There is a touch of darkness amongst this via the lyrics, but this is offset by the sizzle of the funk that runs through this album.
This is a hip-hop record that suggests that Paul White has a big future, and if this momentum can be maintained Biddines will be along for the ride. This is already getting support from the likes of Gilles Peterson, so expect to hear it at the best BBQs this summer as the name Golden Tickets spreads.
You can pick up your own copy here…