Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III, known as Aloe Blacc, exists on the fringes of the mainstream music industry. If it wasn’t for the friend of a friend passing on a copy of his 2010 album Good Things, he would probably wouldn’t have registered on my radar. The song he is most known for is I Need A Dollar, which is also the opening title track for the US television series, How To Make It In America. Catchy and relevant, I Need A Dollar is one of those songs that just lingers with a hook that takes some doing to get out of your head once it lodges itself in there.
It seems he started out as a rapper but I reckon that, with his distinct voice and perspective, we are all fortunate that he made the shift to R&B / soul. He is one of those artists I hope is able to break through the noise and establish a career that is fruitful, long and fulfilling. Randomly browsing recently, I came across this video of Blacc covering Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean with a string quintet. It is such a beautiful version of the song, I had to share beyond the normal tweeting and stuff.
The potential for disaster is high when covering a song that has been a significant part of the soundtrack to millions of lives, especially the song of an artist like Michael Jackson. I truly believe Aloe Blacc does it justice and hope he gets greater recognition in future. He deserves it.