(5 Star Musique, 2010):
A year ago on January 30, 2010 an eclectic array of artists converged on the Hudson hot-spot, Jason’s Upstairs Bar, for what would be the closing night of one of the Hudson Valley’s premier showcase clubs. Reggae/ska band Mother Fletcher, drag queen/vocalist Musty Chiffon, burlesque divas Charmed & Dangerous, psychedelic-punks the Last Conspirators and up-and-coming hip-hop artist Young Paris all joined together to give Jason and his staff a proper send-off and in the process blew the lid off of the joint! Set-after-inspired-set they all brought their A-games to what can be best described as, one hell of a party!
Now a year on and the late nights of rockin’ out at late, lamented Jason’s are just a distant memory, but all of these artists carried on and continue to make their mark in their respected genres.
Most recently the uber-talented. multi-lingual, rising hip-hop super-nova Young Paris has unleashed his latest full-length CD, “Euro Swag”, on the world. Paris (aka, Milandou Badila) splits his time between New York City, Paris (where he was born) and Hudson, where he has been flying just below the radar of international recognition. If there is any justice in the usually unjust musical world, this will be the record that launches him into the stratosphere of hip-hop super-stardom.
A killer collection, “Euro Swag” is Paris’ fully realized vision of the world around him. Nineteen strong tracks sewn together collectively to make a powerful lyrical, musical and artistic statement. Just like the real world it reflects upon, this disc is at times hard-hitting rough, raw and vulgar, while simultaneously being joyful, beautiful, touching and heartfelt.
Musically, Paris fuses his rap with an international style, high-class jazz that takes his songs up a notch above a lot of American artists playing the same game. From the opening orchestrated, raunchy rap of “Lavish” to the closing shout-out of “Big Up,” the ‘young one’ waxes poetic throughout, conjuring up stirring imagery over interesting, hypnotic, groove-filled, musical beds and backing tracks. His intricate word play delves into the themes of love, sex, Euro-fashion, passion, style, fame, fortune, jet-setting, thugs, friends, heritage and the seemingly all important family.
The Badilia family is filled with artistic genius, and on seven of these tracks Paris is joined by his sister Lady Moon (Ngonda Badila). Lady Moon’s heaven-on-earth vocals soar, propelling the album to even greater dimensions, perfectly complementing and contrasting Paris’ soulful poetry and prose. Listen to Ms. Moon as she comes in on “The One” or “Rise,” and hear her sultry voice lift the songs into radio hit territory. The jazzy swagger of “Psychotic Love” finds collaborator Miles Vidor supporting Paris with a Tom Waits-influenced vocal interjection, and Miles also adds to the mix later on both “Do Heart” and “Tryin.” Paris brings Billz to the party to trade vocals on “Outta Control” (which belongs on the next Bond spy-thriller soundtrack) and “Lucky 7” (which serves up an equally cool vibe).
This one is not only for the DJs, but also for the listening pleasure. If you are into hip-hop and rap, this is essential. For the uninitiated, it is a good start for checking out some current street sounds courtesy of the real-deal, Young Paris. The best news is you can download the entire CD for FREE.
Go grab it now, and someday when you see Young Paris on the Grammys you can say, “Oh yeah. I knew about Paris before he was a superstar…”
Review by Tim Livingston
OVERALL RATING: “Big Up”!
Lucky 7 (ft. Billz)
Euro Swag (ft. Lady Moon)
The One (ft. Lady Moon)
Psychotic Love (ft. Miles Vidor)
RIP J Dilla
Rise (ft. Lady Moon)
Alone (ft. Lady Moon)
Do Heart (ft. Miles Vidor)
Far Away (ft. Lady Moon)
Tryin (ft. Miles Vidor and Lady Moon)
Who Says (ft. Lady Moon)
Child Rebel Soldier Remix
Outta Control (ft. Billz)
Off the Lights