The Vibe Music Collective emcee releases his final video from the 2015 release to clear the floor for 2017.

cavalier photo
Cavalier

Last week, rapper Cavalier dropped the video for “Tuck and Roll,” and it ends a chapter for Cav and his local associates in the Vibe Music Collective. In 2015, he released Lemonade EP, 10 tracks in a half-hour that were part of his process of dealing with challenges he faced after moving to New Orleans. “It just seemed that with the hurdles of moving to a new city, where I barely knew anyone, I was also getting hit with difficult news from every direction, including back in Brooklyn where I am from,” he says.

The video depicts three guys in the moments before something clandestine is about to go down, and like the song, it’s chill but with a clear undercurrent that things aren’t right. “‘Tuck and Roll’ is what you do when you are on fire, or have to take a hard fall,” Cav explains. “That period felt like I was experiencing both. The Lemonade EP has a lot of undertones about transmutation. I was transmuting my hardship and observations through the music.”

He’s joined on the track by Quelle Chris and Iman Omari, who started the Vibe Music Collective. The collective includes producers, singers and emcees from across the country, including AF THE NAYSAYER locally until Cavalier and Omari moved to New Orleans. Omari started the Collective, and he produced “Tuck and Roll” and sang the hook. For the song, he puts a slightly psychedelic twist on early ‘70s soul cinema soundtracks, breaking things down to a bass line that hints that something’s not right when it repeats rather than moves forward, and when it does, it moves to an unexpected chord that’s slightly dissonant. 

“I am not certain of the secrets behind the music, but I feel there was some Stevie Wonder influences in the sounds of the guitar,” Cav says. “I cannot say the song was planned from start to finish as I feel like it sort of 'blossomed', but I do know that we want to evoke feeling from everything we create. The worst thing is empty music.”

That sensibility give the Vibe Music Collective its common thread. Omari’s productions have clear roots in late ‘60s/early ’70s R&B and jazz that had a sense of mission, and Cav sums up his point of view on “Tuck and Roll” when he raps, “I’m still the same shallow nigga / spittin’ deep shit.” 

“Vibe Music Collective stands for being true to the music and the culture,” Cav says. “Often when people talk about ‘vibes,’ they are referencing something that is felt, not seen or heard. I feel like the affiliated artists all have a 'vibe' about them or their creations that illustrate that there is more beneath the surface and that we are creating with some sort of intention. The sounds are often rich, nuanced, and emotive.”

“Tuck and Roll” is the last stop for Lemonade EP because everybody involved has a project ready to go in early 2017. “Iman Omari and I will be dropping a follow up called Private Stock, containing many songs and bsides from the Lemonade batch that no one heard.”