Review: Cherry Wine “Bright Black”

Cherry Wine
“Bright Black”

At first I thought, “Cherry Wine…Yeah, Buttafly from the old Digable Planets. I’ve been waiting to hear this!” Since his Digable hiatus, I’ve been yearning to hear a Digable Part 3. “Bright Black” is not it. I would have never guessed it was Butta except for his trademark smooth, melancholy delivery. I for sure would not have guessed this guy was reppin’ NYC. Rather, the album screams of Down South, Crunked up, bouncy funk. But that is a pigeonhole that Cherry Wine just won’t fit in. The piece is silky, yet grimy. Dirty, but pretty. The lyrical delivery speeds up, slows down, takes a dip, and bounces. Crunk and Gangsta, but only in a Neo-Retro 70s, The Mack meets the Neptunes type of style. Yet, it’s too poetical to be Gangsta Rap, since it’s very distant from the 50 Cent/Cash Money/Westside Connection party. The sound is fluid from beginning to end, defining a new sound for the now-a-days. At first listen I discredited Cherry Wine as trying to keep up with what’s hot in the mainstream. Upon further dissection, I found a thoughtful, provocative, outside of the box, New School Hip-Hop joyride. “Bright Black” is chock full of every previously recorded element heard in rap, combined with Cherry Wine’s personal touch that puts him, (should I really say it?) ahead of his time. The beats are mad thick, fattened by big bass, and 808ish kick drops dancing with a lot of 1/16 hi hats, and way spaced out synth sounds. Your boy Butta threw me back with this one, and I am not disappointed. I could compare it to Andre 3000, but only because the shit different. Hopefully Hip-Hoppers are taking notes, cuz FRESH is a word I thought Hip-Hop had forgotten about.

Hugh Knizzle