Words by Eddie STATS Houghton, Photos by Fubz
When we conceived of the idea for our Now Things series focusing on cutting-edge artists across all genre boundaries who happen to have roots in the Caribbean, Aloe Blacc was the artist we had in mind. In the time since we first got hyped about his eclectic catalog of soul, rap and salsa, he has gone on quite a rampage of world domination, performing on Jimmy Fallon, taking a Gold record in France and storming the UK charts with his HBO-placed single “I Need A Dollar” (currently at #3). Although much of the buzz has been about that particular song, Aloe’s versatility as a writer and performer gets clearer and clearer, whether he’s singing about Panama on “Patria Mia” (below), translating John Legend into Spanish or putting down his own reggae cover onstage in Germany. In the midst of that whirlwind, and right before he was set to bring his long-running, Sunday afternoon Los Angeles party The Do-Over to Puerto Rico, Aloe spent the better part of a mellow, thoughtful afternoon to sit in the sun with us at Habana Outpost in Brooklyn and go deep on his Panamanian roots, his Stones Throw LP Good Things and all the unwritten chapters of the book called Aloe Blacc.