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THE TAKE-OFF 747-365
Album Review
By D'Chell Crayton

Kumi Hues is the newest group formed by Brandon Crumbly also known as Ill Flava, born in Toledo, Ohio and Jason Hall alias M.E.R.C., originally from Tallahassee Florida, where the two met and conjoined. M.E.R.C., brings the lyrics of the hot, funky duo and Ill Flava produces the unique, eccentric beats on their debut album The Take-Off 747-365.

The Take-Off brings a unique, original, and individualistic vibe to the music industry. This album will catch the attention of listeners with its jazz, hip-hop, and neo-soul compilation.

Listening to “45 Murders,” M.E.R.C. illustrates a lullaby pertaining to the way people are living in the world. He sings, “Look what we’ve become! The world is such a disgrace. Now it’s murder, murder! Kill! Kill! I’ma cheat! I’ma steal!” While closing this bedtime story, he implies that listeners should be aware of the world around them.

Another highlight of the album is “Caramel,” which brings a slower groove to the album with a description of a ‘caramel love.’ Referring to this woman as caramel candy and wanting a piece, they simply state, “I’m in love again. We gotta understanding that we’re more than friends.”

The song “Dream Machine,” takes you on a drive, “if you’re lucky enough.” Delivering a fluctuating beat, Kumi Hues depicts a vehicle better than any luxury car, with confidence that the “dream machine,” is matchless, all while, luring ladies to take a ride with them.

Kumi Hues also slows it down with “LIKwid-Motion” as they elaborate on an infatuation with a woman. While referencing ‘LIKwid-motion’ to Cloud 9, these lyrics may allure women into the sensitive side of Kumi Hues.

Overral, The Take-Off brings a unique, original, and individualistic vibe to the music industry. This album will catch the attention of listeners with its jazz, hip-hop, and neo-soul compilation. And if this album is any indication, Kumi Hues will take off their career successfully with this amazing debut album.

Download: “Dream Machine” and “Gangster”


Kumi Hues-Count to Ten


2/23/2008 | vapors | By: Biff Oysterjelly

Once upon a time not long ago, there existed a balance in hip hop: for every story of juggling crack vials on the Ave there was side of peaceful revolution. For every Mobb Deep there was a Tribe Called Quest and the like. This even rang more true for the on the porch in the slow but prosperous rap scene in the south. For every Geto Boys and Master P, there existed Outkast and Goodie Mob, working in symbiotic harmony. While other regions seemed to maintain this equilibrium, the south gave way to seemingly mass producing only gangsta, crunk, and snap only to leave the progressive music that was birthed from sit-ins and school protests expired like segregation. Let the media tell it, the south just doesn't produce that sound anymore, but Kumi Hues, sons of this faded genre of hip-hop beg to differ.

Brandon Crumbly a.k.a iLL FlaVa and Jason Hall a.k.a M.E.R.C. make up the duo that dares to defy the status quo in southern hip hop. Combining new wave and jazz with revolutionary tales and romantic raps, Kumi Hues stands out like punk rockers in a Baptist choir. A chance meeting through a mutual musical colleague led them to work together. Raised in the south, iLL FlaVa and M.E.R.C. are students of the many forms of black music but their musical tastes slightly differ. “Me and M.E.R.C. are two totally different people (laughs)! He told me that he grew up listening to Jazz and a multitude of Bob Marley's music. I was heavy into Jazz music as well, but also really into 70's soft rock and artists like The Police, Prince & Fiona Apple” stated iLL.” We have many differences and it’s what I think makes our group very special.” Music tastes aside, the message is what led both iLL and M.E,R.C to believe that creating their brand of music could be a reality. Creating the name Kumi Hues as M.E.R.C would explain it is more than sounding cool but being able to create a lane to explain the Afro American experience with the African Diaspora. “Kumi is ten in Swahili and hues to describe our colors. We wanted to embrace African roots and mix it with our American Ten Colors, the music uses ten colors to paint a picture. ”

Using their skills and ROYGBIV, Kumi Hues set out on creating a sound that lies somewhere in between electro funk and positive, deep rooted lyrics on their debut album “The Take Off-747-365”. Recorded in M.E.R.C's bathroom, the two pilots of this flight of higher consciousness set out to give the listener a first class encounter of the eclectic side of the south. “The Take Off is our first album. It just really helped us to realize that we have a unique sound. The “Take Off” is the beginning of the flight. The 747 is in reference to an airplane and the 365 means endless. The development of the album was simple. Make good songs. We want to live forever through our music.” explains M.E.R.C. Not focused on making ringtone music, iLL says “The Take Off “ makes you feel like you've never heard music like this before. Beyond the reaches of time & space, where you're free to be you. But, we also want to talk to you about earthly issues, love and self expression.” Currently in the lab with George Clinton and prepping a mixtape called Revolutionary Love and another KH album, Kumi Hues is not only anticipated but vital to maintain once was.



THE TAKE OFF 747-365



Music is life. Music is love. Music is you. Music is me. Music is us. To make people truly understand music is difficult because they don’t realize the role that music plays in their everyday lives. You hear it on the radio, in elevators, on television, in hospitals, in schools, at funerals, everywhere. It is the most powerful form of communication. People literally can’t get enough of it. This is why Kumi Hues is necessary. Kumi Hues is music. Kumi Hues is life. Kumi Hues is love.

But who is Kumi Hues? Perhaps where is Kumi Hues is a better question. Starting their intergalactic journey in the small town of Tallahassee, Florida, iLL-FLaVa and M.E.R.C. found that they have a chemistry that will catapult them into your living rooms. Their sound is vintage yet new, hard yet smooth, and bitter yet sweet. They seem to explore the universe of sound, conquering the cosmos in their dream machine fueled by inspiration. Their unique delivery of chords and phrases captures time and space. Kumi Hues is the future and they are in a world of their own.

iLL-FLaVa, aka Brandon Crumbly, was born in the city of Toledo, Ohio, the home of such musicians as Art Tatum and R & B crooner Lyfe Jennings. iLL’s fascination with the sound came at an early age. But it wasn’t until moving to Atlanta, Georgia that this son of a high school theory teacher found passion in bringing imagination to his music. If you could see into his mind you would see a world decorated with an array of vibrant colors and you would hear a futuristic, bass heavy beat pulsating throughout his thoughts. Drawing inspiration from hip-hop, jazz, new wave, and genres, iLL-FLaVa is ready to leave his mark on the music industry; and re-introduce creativity to a genre fixated on catchy tunes.

After high school, iLL-FLaVa moved to the sunny city of Tallahassee, FL where he met M.E.R.C. The two became immediate friends, and had a powerful musical chemistry they couldn’t ignore. The two soon formed Kumi Hues, where iLL-FLaVa capitalizes on his beat-making prowess to help deliver the group’s debut album, “The Take Off 747-365.” Armed with skillfully creative drum patterns and an infectious style of chord changes, iLL-FLaVa proves to be a musical reckoning force.

M.E.R.C. aka Jason Hall was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida, a city that produced other musical talents such as T-Pain and Sticman of Dead Prez. He remembers always wanting to be creative and free spirited. “Music was always something that I loved. I remember riding in the car with my pops trying to guess the instruments on his jazz tapes. I didn’t really listen to hip-hop that much because my parents didn’t. It wasn’t until about the eighth grade when I started to get into it. Even then I still would rather hear Satchmo on a 45” than anything on the top ten,” states M.E.R.C. Growing up in the south even in the 80’s and 90’s still had its affect on Black Americans and M.E.R.C. expresses those struggles frequently in his music. He is often compared to Common or Mos Def but with southern hospitality. He seems to somewhat squeeze his political view in between his metaphors to make sure that nothing is overstated. His words dance romantically with bass lines and his laid-back persona clashes with his revolutionary ideology.

Not since Gnarls Barkley has colorful imagery, alluring lyricism and storytelling been fused so perfectly. M.E.R.C. lives up to his name and slaughters hip hop standards with his insightful and honest lyrics, while iLL-FLaVa keeps listeners amazed with his range and creativity as a producer.