|Smoke E. Digglera|
There is much that you can tell about singers from the way they sing.
Take Jawann Peacock (formerly known as Smokey from the now-defunct Timbaland-produced R&B trio Playa, and now known as solo artist Smoke E. Digglera), for example. On “What Have U Done 4 Me Lately,” from Sittin’ On A Goldmine, the second of an astonishing ten albums he has released—via the Web—since departing Playa, he sings to a lover that hasn’t shown gratitude for the dedication and attention he’s shown her, who has, in fact, done the exact opposite:
“All you’ve done is bring me stress and frustration.”
The last word is most important. Smoke draws it out, holds the “N” for a few seconds longer than most singers would, revealing three things. First, he means it. Second, he was obviously raised in the black church. Third, he must have listened very closely to his preacher’s sermons. That extended “N” indicates testimony and his whole performance, both on the song (a shifting slow jam) and the entire album, is a kind of testifying.
|Sittin' On A Goldmine|
He does, however, manage to capture the kind of sensitivity that Marvin Gaye made fashionable, though not quite as artfully. “Wish U Neva Told Me” is all about how he is willing, ultimately, to take back the woman who revealed her infidelity. Among harmonizes moans, he laments:
“Never see me leaving you. But if I stay, will you take advantage and do it again?”
It’s the sort of vulnerability that this generation’s auto-tuned, wanna-be roughnecks aren’t man enough to reveal.
There is a genuine, but certainly self-conscious, swagger throughout the album. It is most apparent on the stuttering staccato funk of “770.” Smoke whoops and hollers, dashing in and then out again, between the persistent rhythms of finger snaps, working the listener into frenzy. At one point, when the song nearly loses pace with the singer, Smoke laughs, breaking the tension and bringing things back into focus. It is a song that seemingly attempts to mimic the playful sexuality of youth. Quite frankly, it does a damn fine job.
Smoke testifying; live and uncensored
Other standout tracks include mechanical “Energizer” (featuring Jesse James of Too Big Mafia) an ode to long-lasting, safe (imagine that!) sex, “Let’s Do Something Different,” where Smoke encourages his partner to break out of their sexual rut, and “It’s Urs” (also featurning Jesse James), a mid-tempo romp that recalls the sounds Smoke honed during his time with Playa.
Sittin’ On A Goldmine, along with the entire catalog of Smoke’s musical works, is available for purchase at the Smoke E. Digglera website. (Be sure to check out his new single, "Angel.")
Sittin' On A Goldmine Tracklisting:
Sittin On A Goldmine (Intro)
Slow ft Too Big Mafia
It's Urs (Interlude)
It's Urs ft Jesse James of Too Big Mafia
770 (Feat. Blazed)
R U Scared?? (Interlude)
Let's Do Sumthin Different
From Dusk 'Til Dawn
Porno ft Jesse James of Too Big Mafia
Energizer ft Jesse James of Too Big Mafia
It's Ova Now ft Sheba Shane
What Have U Done 4 Me Lately??
Wish U Neva Told me
Will It Eva Be Tha Same??
Get My Baby Back ft Outsiderz 4 Life
War Of Tha Roses (Feat. DLK)
What I Go Thru
Por Ahora Y Parasiempre ft G.No aka The Latin Bird
Say U Really Luv Me, Baby
Jesus Will, Jesus Can