There are a veritable multitude of reasons why legendary rap clique the Native Tongues were years before their time. The Jungle Brothers set the standard for rap and house’s commingling with 1988′s “Girl I’ll House You.” As well, one of the most slept-on groups of the turn of the 21st century was 90s soul/rap super-group Lucy Pearl (Jungle Brother member group A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Toni Tony Tone’s Raphael Saadiq, and En Vogue’s Dawn Robinson), whose 2001 single “Dance Tonight” is the right blend of funk and soul to feel like a laid-back proto-disco throwback to David Mancuso’s Loft in New York City in the 1970s. It’s a rare and beloved cut that truly deserves more mentions for both it’s elegant production and overall excellence.
Insofar as for the 2010s, the Native Tongue legacy is hard to find. the Jungle Brothers still record, though not on a level where they access top-40 airplay on a significant level. A Tribe Called Quest no longer actively record together, and much of that organic Sly and the Family Stone meets the modern dance floor version of soul is gone. That’s what I thought until I heard the latest from the unlikliest of places, Los Angeles-based DJ/producer Tittsworth.
For a minute I’ve been hearing word of a track that he was working on with Theophilus London, Q-Tip and unheralded (yet gifted) DC-based soul vocalist Alison Carney. Today, “After The Dance” sees release, and its as if the vibe that started way back in ’88 remains timeless, and in this being a more fully-formed house tune, feels as close to “EDM” as that vibe should ever be. It’s a top-tier track, and demands your immediate attention.