Release Date: Mar 3, 2015
Record label: Stones Throw
Genre(s): R&B, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Dance, Alternative R&B, Neo-Disco
Tuxedo is the unlikely disco pairing of Seattle producer Jake One and Detroit crooner Mayer Hawthorne. Jake One is best known for being equally loved in mainstream and underground hip-hop, having produced an innumerable amount of songs for the likes of G-Unit, Rick Ross, Drake, Kardinal Offishall, and many more. But you'll find very little in his hip-hop catalogue that sounds anything like Tuxedo's shameless reclaiming of the pop and funk sound that dominated in the 1980s.For Hawthorne, Tuxedo closely follows the success of his Steely Dan-esque 2013 solo album, Where Does This Door Go?, and his heavily electronic 2014 side project Jaded Incorporated.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. As disco and funk continue their seemingly unstoppable return to prominence with the likes of 'Uptown Funk' dominating charts around the world, the sun-kissed funk group Tuxedo, compromised of neo-soul artist Mayer Hawthorne and hip-hop producer Jake One, seem to have chosen the ideal time to unveil the fruits of their labor. The genres they represent may be seeing a resurgence, but don't accuse Tuxedo of trying to cash in.
Before he moved west and became a retro-soul dreamboat, lovers of roller skate disco and electro-funk in his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan knew Mayer Hawthorne as DJ Haircut, and his mixtape Shoot the Duck, Vol. 1 was a prized possession. The disco, post-disco, and boogie tracks on that mix provide the inspiration for Tuxedo, a band formed by Hawthorne and Jake One, a fellow lover of those sweet sounds.
Throwback soul singer Mayer Hawthorne and hip-hop producer Jake One have come together as Tuxedo, an earnest love letter to uptempo 80s R&B, funk and late disco sounds. It's the kind of vibe Chromeo have been milking for some time, but whereas they often play up the campy elements for laughs, Tuxedo are much more serious and authentic. Not only do they sound scarily close to the types of records they're referencing, but they also execute that music with consistently high quality.
There’s something wonderfully audacious about “Number One,” the bouncy, singalong first single from Tuxedo’s breezy self-titled debut album: One does not turn Snoop Dogg’s X-rated groupie anthem “Ain’t No Fun” into a light disco dedication to one’s “special lady” or edit the late, great Nate Dogg’s infinitely quotable (just not in print) verses without plenty of confidence — and a healthy sense of humor. As Tuxedo, singer Mayer Hawthorne and producer Jake One have just enough of both; most importantly, their 12 tracks just sound right. The fat bass slap and punchy horns on “Roll Along” are as lively as the drifting guitars are languorous on the Isley Brothers-flavored “Two Wrongs.
Tuxedo (Stones Throw) Dam Funk has started to rub off on his Stones Throw labelmates. Soul man Mayer Hawthorne and A-list hip-hop producer Jake One team up as Tuxedo, a disco-boogie and Jheri curl funk project that's catnip for DJs. Nearly every track will fill a dance floor – club or wedding – even if this isn't an LP bearing repeated spins at the cut.