feature: genrehopper kevin michael stakes his claim as a pop writer on “dirty little f**k”
By Sound Check
July 31, 2015
The new millennium has seen a renaissance from artists like Andre 3000, Pharrell, Kelis and Cee-Lo Green attempting to take on a range full of music and ideas, while creating hits that are undeniable without losing any bit of their originality as people. Because of these people songs like “Hey Ya!”, “Happy”, “Crazy” and “Fuck You” have all become unexpected hits.
What’s more is that all of their albums are equally solid, proving that no one has the upper hand in selling a lot of singles better than the cool black eccentrics who know their way around a really good (if not tragically overplayed) pop song. They were able to create music that even if you liked rock, pop, gospel or whatever, you could still appreciate as a pop album. Kevin Michael deserves to be mentioned in the same breath and given the same treatment.
By Lightning Pill, AFROPUNK Contributor
Even though some people on YouTube still ask where is Kevin Michael despite him just releasing two of his mixtapes, Kevin has been far from slacking on his talent. Even though he has not been back to the majors due to conflicts, Dirty Little Fuck proves that his songwriting prowess is just as strong as his genrehopping game, and it may be the thing to put him in the litany of musical free-spirits dominating the charts every now and then.
The album begins with “Haunted”, which finds a slightly strange middle ground between soul music and psychobilly. After that, Kevin proceeds to take on his most popular topics (love, sex, dancing) with more range and precision than we’d ever expect from artists like him in the game. From the nearly robotic and simplistic “Dance All Night” to the new-romantic shimmer of “I Lose My Voice”, Kevin certainly doesn’t half-ass anything, and even if he did, you’d never notice in his songs. Not only this, but Kevin tackles heartbreak with raw emotion and honesty, where most would handle it by bragging about a gang of jumpoffs afterwards (“Cry”).
The whole time I was listening to this, I wanted to look in the dude’s record collection. The fact that he may own a funk or an electroclash record may explain how well he delivers and produces “Freak”. Hell, I’ll be disappointed, if bro doesn’t own at least one Beck album. Imagine if your iPod right now is dominated by one guy. Long story short, Kevin has had his share of troubles with the record industry for a while now, and he hasn’t been shy about that. Even worse, it’s an industry that probably would have canned Dirty Little F**k for it’s diversity. (That has happened a lot.) After all, there are a lot of artists who try the method of being diverse in genres and ideas, and they don’t always pan out. So, I’m glad Kevin grabbed the reins and released this, pesky “has-been” stigma be damned.
I had just tweeted to him what I put in the beginning, to which he responded… Till he gets that chance, we’ll have to stick to plugging in our headphones, and taking a ride through Kevin’s rollercoaster.
* * Lightning Pill is a blogger, poet, singer-songwriter, composer, Aspie, etc. from Dorchester, MA. You can reach him at www.twitter.com/LightningPill or visit his Afropunk website. His Soundcloud can be found here and his main Bandcamp found here. Also here for the new agers.
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