G&D are the husband and wife Duo of Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins (aka Declaime). Their new full-length The Lighthouse is a robust album blending funk, soul, and hip hop. Following up on their 2010 Mello Music Group release SomeOthaShip, Georgia and Dudley turned to their own imprint, SomeOthaShip Connect to put out The Lighthouse. The product is a much more personal effort, and the two decided to produce the entire album themselves, whereas SomeOthaShip featured a different hip hop producer for nearly every track. As a DIY effort, this album is even funkier and more message-forward than their first full length release. The album is sonically dense with a smoky haze backdrop, resinous bass and jittery, paranoid funk riffs. What really impressed me about the album is the wide variety of influences on display. There’s Parliament-esque “Power” and “Muthadear,” a heartfelt tribute to motherhood, with a melody so instinctive and sentimental, it reminds of classic Motown. Georgia and Dudley share the spotlight pretty equally, and Georgia stuns with the poise of her delivery in her only rapped verse on “Fam Bam.” Her singing voice is velvety smooth and low, and compliments Dudley’s declaratory rapping style.
The fusion of so many styles is held together with various musical interludes that thump the eardrums and bend the mind with brooding samples and top-notch DJ cuts. Even so, the album does collapse a little under the sheer weight of its own scope. Not so much unfocused as ambitious, its easy to get kind of bogged down by it. Listening to The Lighthouse can get kind of claustrophobic, like being crammed into a tiny, dark closet with Georgia and Dudley as they blow intoxicating hash smoke into your nostrils and school you solemnly on their musical taste and spiritual discoveries. Feel free to take a breather from this daunting album if things get too heavy for you.
All in all this is a highly intelligent album from two artists who are committed to a particular sound, despite the melting pot of influences that conspire to bring that sound to life. That sense of commitment, and of purpose has yielded a fully-rendered vision of spiritual funk and soul melding with hip hop. I will definitely look for G&D to continue to forge their very own path through music in future releases, but I’ll come prepared next time I get invited to hotbox with Georgia and Dudley, and make sure I’m ready for a lesson or two.