RJD2 returns with a new album, The Fun Ones (Electrical Connections), out April 17th. In anticipation of the release, RJD2 shares the lead single, “Pull Up On Love,” and its accompanying video. His first album since 2016’s Dame Fortune, The Fun Ones is the seventh solo album in the constantly expanding RJD2 catalog. Assembled as a mixtape using samples taken from a number of conversations with his contemporaries, including Phonte Coleman, J-Zone, Kid Koala, Mr. Lif, and Son Little, The Fun Ones draws largely from the basic DNA of hip-hop and funk music, with heavy brass, plenty of thump, and slick chord changes.
Though The Fun Ones largely emphasizes modern funk and instrumental music, RJ still occasionally flirts with vocal stylings across the album. On “One Of A Kind,” RJ links up with HomeboySandman, pushing the levels of syncopation into the red. “A Genuine Gentleman” sees RJ and the king of west coast abstract rhyming, Aceyalone, reuniting on record for the first time since 2006 over a Meter’s-esque groove.
Longtime RJD2 collaborators, STS and Khari Mateen, reconvene on lead single, “Pull Up On Love,” to bring the spirit of James Brown to the quintessential Atlanta rib shack. JordanBrown steps in to bring a falsetto lilt over a cacophonous drum break that would leave Ginger Baker scratching his chin. “This tune started with some Zigaboo-inspired drums, a nice little sweeping guitar lick, and a bass line that left plenty of space for wherever Slim (aka STS) was gonna take the track,” says RJ. “I purposely left some room to fill out the track once the vocals were in place. So when Slim sent it back to me, and Khari had did his thing on it, it had such a great vibe to it that I didn’t want to drench the track in production tricks and overdubs. I wanted the vocal performances to shine, so I basically cleaned up the mix, did a few breakdowns, and left it as is. It was great for the three of us to link up once again, since it had been years since we did ‘See You Leave’.”
RJ, STS, Mateen, and Brown all appear in the song’s accompanying video, filmed at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, alongside ChuckPalmer on drums, and Stephen Greenberg on bass.
RJD2 will play select dates in support of The Fun Ones this spring, including dates in Atlanta, Seattle, San Diego, Austin, Columbus, Brooklyn, and Boston at Boston Calling Music Festival. A full list of dates is listed below.
RJD2 Tour Dates:
Fri. Feb. 21 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
Sat. Feb. 29 – Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre
Fri. March 20 – Seattle, WA @ Nectar Lounge
Sat. March 21 – San Diego, CA @ Music Box
Thu. April 9 – Austin, TX @ Empire Control Room & Garage
Fri. April 10 – Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theatre
Sat. April 25 – Columbus, OH @ Otherworld
Sun. April 26 – Cincinnati, OH @ Urban Artifact
Fri. May 22 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
Sat. May 23 – Boston, MA @ Boston Calling Music Festival