Mesmerizing. Engaging. Eclectic. These three words can be used when talking about Jesse Boykins III the person as well as his musical output. This next breed of world music artist infuses soul, jazz, funk, vintage R&B, reggae, and hip hop into a musical concoction of gumbo, ready for consumption by a hungry audience. One listen, better yet, one live experience will solidify the notion that the one christened Jesse Boykins III. Born in Chicago, Illinois on February 20, 1985, he was an immediate byproduct of the hip hop generation, but that timing didn’t limit his musical development. Much of his musical flair can be attributed to multicultural exposure, being raised and prepped in areas as diverse as Jamaica and Miami. These notions, and a few more, were discussed in detail prior to his performance at the 3rd Anniversary Ear Candy celebration, hosted by Gypsy Soul. Gypsy Soul has managed to bring top-notch, eclectic, and avant-garde music to Baltimore for three years and running, so it should come as no surprise that Jesse Boykins III would be added to the list of such underground and underappreciated luminaries such as Deborah Bond, YahZarah, Gods’illa, Megan Livingston, and others.
On this Thursday evening in early September, the weather outside may have been damp and dreary, but the energy inside Select Lounge was polar opposite. A musical energy could be felt as sound check proceeded with The Beauty Created, the live band that provides the sound palette for Boykin’s live performance. The artist of the evening was ushered to a meeting space away from the energized sound check, in order to provide myself, as well as Abdu Ali from http://eatonthis.com and Chasing Soul at www.chasingsoul.com. What resulted was a close to twenty minute dissertation on “world soul”, how Spike Lee and The Beauty Created are linked, and his experimental fashion sense. Check out the audio interview conducted by the three of us in a round-robin format, something that Jesse Boykins III said was a unique opportunity that he has never encountered.
Jesse Boykins III Interview (20:14 in length)
Jesse Boykins III Interview by Wisdom40
Jesse Boykins III has released two full-length albums, "Dopamine: My Life On My Back" and "The Beauty Created". His first album was released to critical praise in 2008, and he followed that up later in the year with the second creative endeavor. "Love Apparatus" is the third album that should bring even more fanfare to this outside-the-box artist, who doesn't use gimmicks as a crutch. Jesse Boykins III is an artist in every sense of the word, and if you haven't entered into his unique world, be sure to go to his website at http://www.jbiiimusic.com/ for further proof.
Congratulations, by the way, are in order for the Gypsy Soul family! Not only did they bring another energized showcase to Baltimore, but they did it in grand style. In addition to the show headliner, Baltimore's own Corey Mitchell and funk/soul artist Sophia Urista graced the Select Lounge stage, to the delight of everyone in attendance. Gypsy Soul is a collective of like-minded individuals with very good musical tastes, headed by Ms. Gypsy herself, Kayenecha Daugherty. I would like to take this time to thank the entire Gypsy Soul family for allowing me to document what this movement is all about. It is a pleasure to be involved with such an organic and positive experience, and that is exactly what Gypsy Soul embodies. Salute to you for three excellent years, and continued success as well as blessings. Peace!