Jamil Rashad, a/k/a Boulevards, is the embodiment of funk. Taking queues from pioneers such as Prince, Rick James, and Earth Wind & Fire, Boulevards seamlessly delivers cheeky, party-themed jams that range from raw and risqué to soulful on his debut LP Groove!
Boulevards evokes a spirit from a time that combined intricate production with a focus on rhythm and getting people back on the dance floor. With Groove!, Boulevards does just that. On tracks like “Patience,” Rashad melds pop with vintage hip-hop elements – think Eddie Murphy meets The Sugarhill Gang – and it just works. “Cold Call” introduces a slow hypnotic groove before a symphony of synths, creating a rhythmic cadence that stays with you even after the party is over. However, to give Groove! Merit solely based on nostalgia would be a mistake. Groove! is not just a rework of a classic sound – it is an intelligent collection, an evolution to reign in a new era of funk – heard via the disco pulses on the tracks like “Weekend Love” and “Up On Your Love,” nodding to industry giants like Pharrell and Breakbot.
Bringing back producers Roller Girl! And Taste Nasa, who helped craft his critically received self-titled EP. Groove! delivers catchy songwriting, infectious bass lines, and plenty of hooks to keep you grooving until dawn, a clear indicator that there is still room for funk in 2016 – and that room will be occupied by Boulevards.