From Eric B. and Rakim to Macklemore and Lewis, the power of a tight production combo can't be denied. Which is why we're happy to bring you the force of LA's ESP Evolution, a unit comprised of Lady Capri on the vocals and Overdose on the beats. Only ESP Evolution aren't cooking up another slab of dancefloor bubblegum, with tropical beats or trendy samples. Natch, ESP Evolution are cooking up what they call "unstoppable" old school soul taking upon themselves the mantle of The King and Queen of Soul Rock. Their latest edict? A rollicking, as one would say, single called "Wishing On A Falling Star," which they're publicist kindly hucked at my email box.
Why don't you pop a listen:
Man, there's so much going on here! The beat is pure TLC, it's airy chorus sliding up and down like the puffs in a puffy jacket; within two seconds, Overdose's old school keyboards and Lady Capri's huffed 'yeah, yeahs' have brought us back to the '90s and the perfume is still in the air. Unsurprising, of course, when you consider Overdose's pedigree: he's previously worked with some of Aaliyah's posthumous releases, the '90s R&B star whose material has been spinning in the hearts and souls of every heartthrob for the past two decades. He's also claimed to have worked with rappers like E40 and R&B crooners like Tank. Names that are associated not with chasing after the latest trap beat or simmering dubstep crunch but are interested in something else entirety, nostalgically yearning for a '90s that remains always summery and always safe. Listening to "Wishing On A Falling Star" for the requisite third or fourth time, I heard the sidewalks of the suburbs of Nickelodeon TV blocks, the sun beating on the neighborhood kids playing the neighborhood boombox.
"We wrote 'Wishing On A Falling Star' because now more than ever, it's important that people hear the message of not giving up," either Lady Capri or Overdose told me via email and even that timidly PC-vagueness was reassuring. Its message was, indeed, like those bald Spice Girls anthems, to not give up and keep grinding after that proverbial thing, a common sentiment in an industry of so many forgotten souls churning ceaselessly. When Overdose raps out "never stop wishing" as a kind of insolent command, addressed to both the woman he will do it to "on sea and dry land" and his listening audience and himself, the last evident by the admonishing gesture, "God, are you listening?" It's like DJ Khaled, but sincere and soulful and with enough talent to clutch a guitar. Gucci.
Andrew Karpan is Popdust's resident soul man. He will make you believe in the Weeknd again. Follow him on Twitter.