If the R&B / hip-hop stations played music that was a fraction of the caliber that Josh One emulates, the world would be a much better place, filled with heart, soul, warmth and ear&mind boggling talent.
This has been a great year for music so far and Josh One’s Narrow Path is at the top of the list for 2005. Veils of sophisticated jazz fall lightly on “Grey Skies,” raise your hands and close your eyes as Deana Deadly kills you softly with her song “Miss Me,” and shake it Basement Jaxx style as Kandance Lindsey gets you doin’ your thing “Midnight Samba” style.
And let us not deny praise for the deep soul hip-hop observations and MC persona from Aloe Blacc on “Risin’” or the Latin alley vibe of “Less Traveled” as MC Rashaan Ahmad throws down the speaks with a heavy grip and a Double Dutch skip. Then comes the last track, the title track “Narrow Path” that turns down a completely different bend, forged with acoustic guitar, violin harmonies, and an orchestration that I’ve only heard from producers such as DJ Shadow and James Lavelle.
The production is lush, the artistry is innovative, the vibe is deep and the sounds are real. Josh One along with all of his collaborators has paved a way that few can follow while leaving a trail that lingers long after the music has stopped.
Check it: this is also one of these new-fangled 2-sided DualDisc CD/DVD. The DVD features a homemade video that seems to have been shot all in one day, going through his LBC streets and peeps, along with portable music files for your iPod and seven bonus instrumental tracks.