Waajeed (feat. Asante & Zo!)

Things About You

Soul | House Music | Electronic

Dirt Tech Reck


waajeed’s ‘things’ reaffirms his detroit house roots

October 4, 2018
50 Picks

If you care at all about Detroit culture, especially it’s everlasting wing of soulful Black music, you already know that Waajeed has been ruling 2018 — and, actually, for a few years now. Though the renaissance man born Robert O’Bryant is not as well recognized as some of his contemporaries, heads know that Jeedo’s two-decades-long resume — working with everyone from J Dilla, Slum Village and Platinum Pied Pipers back in the day, to Theo Parrish, Carl Craig and Underground Resistance more recently — is enough to place him at the table of the city’s rich rhythm heritage. Yet launching his own Dirt Tech Reck label in 2013 seems to have given yet another spring to Waajeed’s  step, because the records he’s been dropping since have been uniformly fire. And “Things About You,” the second single off his upcoming album, From the Dirt, continues the sparks.

What begins with a kind a heavy-handed kick-drum, a mic-checking clearing of a throat, and a nasty industrial synth, unfolds into something less obvious and more emotional when the layered vocals (all of them courtesy great young Detroit singer, Asante, who also wrote the song) come into play. That it’s a variation of the city’s Future Soul musical foundation — at once emotionally rich and technologically enormous — seems both besides the point and exactly IT. Lornezo “Zo!” Ferguson adds rhythm guitar licks, Jeedo lays down Rhodes chords, and Asante sings through variation in scales and phrasings. Yet when at the chorus, Asante’s voices become a small choir and Waajeed’s incredible string arrangement kicks in, suddenly”Things About You” becomes a disco-house classic busy being born.

Pre-order Waajeed’s new album, From the Dirt, drops on November 4th on his own Dirt Tech Reck.