For those not already familiar with Dudley Perkins, he is a modern day funk and R&B singer-cum-rapper who frequently collaborates with famed hip-hop producer Madlib, to often quirky yet appealing effect. Perkins’ has a new sophomore effort out titled, Expressions (2012 a.u.), released on Stones Throw, not coincidentally the label Madlib calls home. And in fact, Madlib also produced this record, as he did Perkins’ debut, A Lil’ Light.
Perkins’ new effort is full of positive energy with lots of urban themes, downbeat slow jams, and funky beats. Embedded in the middle of the album is, an un-ironically funny public service announcement about domestic violence, and it is random, laughable, and strange at best. For fans of underground hip-hop, Dudley Perkins certainly drives in that direction, without necessarily making any permanent stops. However, he has a different approach to his music than his more traditional hip-hop counterparts. Pop in some neo-soul, some Funk, R&B and soul, and volia! You’ve got the basic recipe for Dudley Perkins.
The songs on Expressions are consistently strong, with great beats and great rhymes. However, I advise interested parties to check out his first album to hear Dudley Perkins at his strongest and most inspiring. Expressions is a lot looser than A Lil’ Light, but if you want to wander over to a less explored realm of modern hip-hop, Perkins emits a positive awareness in his music (much like that of more mainstream counterpart Common) that is refreshing, and fun to listen to. Expressions is a light and fun album with bouncy beats, with no shortage of vocal ruminations about the better parts of life.
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