A film about Northwest hip-hop from 2017
New Black Swing
In the three years since the dissolution of THEESatisfaction, SassyBlack has released nine projects: two full-length albums, three beat tapes and four EPs. For anyone devouring this prolific output, you’ll bear witness to an artist finding new footing, traveling through the cocoon to unveil this 2017 butterfly, New Black Swing. Early on the record, the stripped-down “Passion Paradise” seduces you softly with a slow burn, spacious synths, heavy bass, and sweet R&B vocals. That’s the case with many of the songs: starting skeletal, and then through verses and chorus, adding tendon and skin, until emerging fully, foot-tappingly formed around the three-minute mark. These songs demand repeated listening, each journey through revealing new layers and levels. Catchy single “Glitches” has a danceable snap-skip-step beat, while lyrics explore one’s struggles with trust and intimacy at the start of any new relationship. Intimacy is a good way to describe many of the tracks here, be it the hypnotic “I’ll Wait For You,” the phat guitars halfway through “What We Gonna Do,” or the singalong backstep funk of “Worthy.” There’s an Indiegogo-sponsored vinyl-edition rumored for release this summer. These songs are gonna sing sweetly on that vinyl. Regardless, I’m already addicted to this release.