Dwele | Rich Medina

Though it's usually overshadowed by rap, an earlier form of black music is still alive in the classic twin cities of soul — Detroit, where singer Dwele resides, and Philadelphia, home to poet/DJ/producer Rich Medina. Dwele's 2003 debut, Subject, produced a minor R&B hit with "Find a Way" — a lovely if timid rendition of his trying to holler at a lady. His sophomore album, Some Kinda ... , continues exploring the many manifestations of love, from anonymous (the subtle "Know Your Name") and freaky (the borderline crude booty tribute known as "Flapjacks") to a tenderness that recalls a more chaste though no less romantic era ("Old Lovas"). Full of collaborations with up-and-coming vocalists and rappers, Medina's Connecting the Dots has similarly spirited sweet love songs. In particular, Delouie Avant ("Holdin' Up") and Martin Luther ("Too Much") stand up well as contemporaries of Dwele's. But where Dwele stops short of being political, Medina's effort contains plenty of swipes at the status quo — "BBoys to Men" even finds him comparing the government to some ladies of the evening. Choose Dwele to get in the mood, Medina to rock the party — and both if you are able.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tamara Palmer