It's interesting how in the discourse that's taken place for decades over the word "nigger," i.e. who can say it, what it represents, why some feel it can be a term of endearment, etc., no other negative words that were used to describe African-Americans have been held up to such scrutiny. Take, for example, the words "coon," "spook," or "spade." Pretty hateful words, yet in the right hands, these words can take on a completely different meaning, even a positive one. The discourse over the word nigger in all of its forms has almost been exclusively spoken about within the context of hip hop music, yet in its early days, this word wasn't used as prevalently within the music as it is today.
Black Spade hails from St. Louis, itself a diverse town musically as Black folks headed on up from New Orleans by way of the Mississippi River, and deposited jazz and blues along its banks. While many artists claim that they have "diverse musical influences," let's face it, listening to their music, you can instantly tell that Hall & Oates may be as diverse as their record collection gets. But when this cat says his influences are rock, electronica, funk, soul, and psychedelia, you can hear them all simultaneously in his music. Two choice cuts from his new album, To Serve With Love, demonstrate this fact. "The Ship Has Sailed" and "Enjoy The Experience" are both heavy on the funk/soul/psychedelic tip, almost sounding as though Georgia Anne Muldrow contributed to the beat-making process.