The 'journey' of
Otis and Shugg is a somewhat travelled one that has come
full circle with the final release of their debut album 'We
Can Do Whatever' on Expansion. The half brothers of Otis
Cooper and 'Shugg'
David who make up the duo hail
from Oakland, California and grew up in the same neighbourhood as
Raphael Saadiq who happened
to hear one of their demo tapes and liked what he heard. Back then
Shugg did some road management for Raphael's
then group Tony Toni Tone before
they were signed to his label Pookie Records
(distributed through Interscope).
Saadiq produced the album and
in 1995 released their first single 'Keep
It On The Real' and the follow up single 'Journey'
followed in 1996. At this time the Tonies were souring on the charts
and the single 'Journey' was
garnering a phenomenum amount of airplay on the UK soul scene. The
promotional plan was in motion for the album as selected amounts
were put in the DJs and PDs. DJs in the underground circuit and
clubs started playing selected tracks from the set including 'Thank
You For My Baby', 'My Choice',
and 'If You Want It' and so
the release of the album was emiment - right?.
What they did not see was what
was to happen in the near future and sadly an all too common occurance
nowadays. Interscope changed distribution and Pookie went their
seperate ways leaving the album in a limbo status.
During their hiatus the duo
did keep busy recording a song for the soundtrack to the film 'The
Rev. Do Wrong Ain't Right' the song being 'Give
It To Me' and performed at the 1st
Annual Hip Hop Awards at Harlem's 'Apollo Theatre'.
Otis also released a solo set called 'O.
Cooper' thats currently available on CD Baby.
Now that we know a bit more about the duo existance, let's get to
the record at hand. The song 'Journey'
is a materpiece of modern soul music that still holds it own some
ten years later (hard to believe it's been a decade since the song
was released) at a time the neo soul movement was taking flight
so to see it get a revisit is a welcoming sight. The song starts
with a strings intro and is led into the a nice baseline groove.
The lads harmonizing is terrific from the get go and production
is just top notch - just brilliant stuff.
So if you're a lover of neo-soul,
if you're a lover of good soul music then you have to get this soul
gem in your mits. An exquisite slice of soul music not to be missed,
trust me a must have - a
Listen to Otis
and Shugg -