feature: sa-ra, the cosmic gentleman
By Sound Check
April 2, 2015
Sa-Ra is a genre blending music collective made up of Taz “Ti$a” Arnold, Om’Mas Keith and Shafiq Husayn. All three contributors are modern-day renaissance men who have pushed the boundaries of urban music with their experimental stew of hip-hop, neo soul and R&B. With raw textures, grit and the funk ingrained in records of artists like Bootsy Collins or Curtis Mayfield, Sa-Ra developed a freedom in their music that was apparent not only sonically but visually.
By Cakes Da Killa, AFROPUNK Contributor
Students of jazz composer, musician and philosopher Sun Ra, Sa-Ra’s fresh styling and unique sound would garner them respect from major and indie artists alike. Each member came into the group with an extensive skillset and a laundry list of A-list clients and peers that would grant them solo credits in liner notes for music heavy hitters like Jay-Z, The Neptunes, Dr. Dre, Iced T, Mobb Deep, Common, Diddy and 50 Cent. Sa-Ra would go on to use their extensive networks to collaborate with artists like Erykah Badu, Bilal, J Dilla, Talib Kweli, Jill Scott and Goapele on their own releases. The trio’s first release were the 2004 12” singles “Glorious” and “Double Dutch (Co Co Puffs),” which are perfect examples of their smooth production and cosmic frequencies. Their lyricism is refined, futuristic and kinky – the perfect tunes for an orgy in space as you orbit the rings of Saturn.
Their 2006 promo release Set-Ups & Justifications came with the help of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. music label. Sa-Ra would then go on to release a slew of miscellaneous Eps and singles indecently. Rumors of a possible break up were silenced with their first full-length album The Hollywood Recordings off Babygrande Records in 2007.
Sa-Ra – “Feel the Bass” (feat. Talib Kweli & Erykah Badu) from The Hollywood Recordings. Their debut was followed by Nuclear Evolution: The Age of Love in 2009. Though it’s been years since another group project has surfaced all three members have continued to provide artistic innovations in music, fashion and film proving to be true tastemakers in the current landscape of carbon copycats.
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