LISTEN to “A Mad Dog in Yoruba” by Brookzill!, The Supergroup Formed by Digable Planet’s LadyBug Mecca and Legendary Producer Prince Paul


As many of you know, we recently published a thorough Slept on Soul feature by Michael A. Gonzales about Mary Ann “Ladybug Mecca” Vieira, the celebrated and respected emcee from Disable Planets. That article focussed on her very unsung 2005 solo LP, Trip The Light Fantastic, and provided some needed background on the project and her beginnings as one of the best female artist that many often forget. While legends like Queen Latifah and MC Lyte are held in high regard, new fans to hip-hop tend to overlook this super sister with a magical voice and mystic flow.We also recently published a piece, “De La Soul: Still Fly, Still Fresh” covering the release of the amazing new De La Soul LP, and The Anonymous Nobody. As most fans of hip-hop’s Golden Era know, De La Soul‘s groundbreaking first record, 3 Feet High and Rising, was produced by Prince Paul (previously of another legendary group, Stetsasonic) and pioneered a new sound and approach to LPs. The LP ushered in more creative sampling, comedic skits and an almost otherworldly sound to the hip hop soundscape that, at that time, had been somewhat mired in an almost unilateral James Brown centered approach. Prince Paul pushed hip-hop to another level and allowed it to stretch out.


With this in mind, we were very excited to learn about a new project, Brookzill!, featuring Ladybug Mecca and Prince Paul along with Don Newkirk and Brazilian MC Rodrigo Brandão.  Hip-Hop heads will recall Newkirk’s often comedic voice-over contributions to the aforementioned 3 Feet High and Rising LP by De La Soul as well the classic “The Gas Face” by 3rd Bass. The new project is the aural love child of the quartet spawned by Prince Paul‘s trips to Brazil to DJ. During those trips, Paul became enamored with the people, sounds and culture of the country and once connecting with Brandão, he felt there was a musical kinship that needed to be explored. Traveling back to the States and connecting with Ladybug Mecca, who is the daughter of two Brazilian jazz musicians and a speaker of fluent Portuguese, and musician and producer Don Newkirk, the group took shape and began to create music together.

As you will hear from the single below, “Mad Dog in Yoruba,” this project works to connect the musical dots between Brooklyn and Brazil in a creative and innovative way. Combining elements of Afro-Brazilian rhythms, Hip-Hop, Jazz and Soul, this production sounds fresh, while leveraging familiar sonic pillars that create a unique sense of cohesion that we find very appealing. “Mad Dog in Yoruba,” which was officially released on September 4 on Tommy Boy Records, is the first single from the group’s forthcoming LP, Throwback to the Future. It features the vocal contributions of artists Fafá de Belém and Kiko Dinucci and really embodies a very Brazilian vibe while also seeking to bridge the two cultures. Although we could not fully understand the words, we were supercharged to peep the flows and the Brazilian MCs and loved how Ladybug Mecca’s sultry voice (all in Portuguese) flowed in a way you have never heard before. Much like her Digable Planet brethren, Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler‘s projects with Cherrywine or Shabazz Palaces, this work finds her in unchartered territory, much to the delight of our ears.


This project is really refreshing and we are very proud of these four artists that are courageously trying something completely new. In an environment where copycat, indecipherable lyrics and musical mediocrity have become the norm, we applaud this effort to create a cross-cultural exchange that will reverberate across World. We look forward to the October release of the full-length LP, which features a wide array of Brazilian Musicians in addition to Stateside contributions by Del The Funky Homosapien, Count Bass D, Kid Koala, Mr. Len, and the legendary keyboardist Brian Jackson among others. If you happen to be in NYC this week, check them out at Sounds of Brazil (SOBs) on Wednesday, September 14, 2016. If you can’t make it, please support the project and pre-order the album here.


If you dig this and want to hear more before the official LP drops, peep these two mixtapes:

BROOKZILL! Mixtape #1 – Prince Paul x Gorila Urbano

BROOKZILL! Mixtape #2 – Prince Paul x Ladybug Mecca

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