The last few years have unearthed a stream of notoriety and creativity in the direction of the Minneapolis funksters who created some of the most interesting and forward-thinking music of the ’80s and ’90s. The Family and The Time (as FDeluxe and The Original 7even) both returned after two decades pursuing individual endeavors, and Numero Group’s recent Purple Snow compilation (a must-buy if you have any interest in funk, soul or dance music) has shed even more light on the uber-competitive music scene that spawned some of the most influential musicians of the rock era.
Andre Cymone has been laying low since the early Nineties, but his shadow still looms large over modern pop and dance music. A schoolmate, bandmate and housemate of Prince’s since their early teenage years, Cymone stepped out on his own in the early Eighties. He recorded three underrated albums of edgy funk/rock fusion for Columbia before officially stepping into the producer’s chair. Andre helmed hits for Evelyn “Champagne” King, Jermaine Stewart and Adam Ant, as well as much of the Grammy-winning debut by Jody Watley.
Andre resurfaced publicly about a year and a half to two years ago, maintaining an active presence on Twitter while also releasing the pointed political songs “America” and “Trayvon.” In a de-politicized music world, these songs were right on the money, and whet the appetites of many (including myself) for a full length album.Well, folks, that album is being made.
About a month ago, Andre announced a PledgeMusic campaign to help fund his fourth solo album. He’s released various video and audio snippets to pledgers, and the music sounds as dope as I expected it to. What I’ve heard so far has a raw, rock edge that’s missing from a lot of music today. I’m certainly excited to hear the final product.
Andre is 90% of the way towards his goal, and you can contribute by clicking on this here link. You can also read up a little on why Andre decided to re-enter the game after two decades of civilian life.
While you’re waiting for the album, check out the video for “America” below.