Steve Arrington has been one of those “whatever happened to …” artists — the sort that the regular public has forgotten but has become beloved among musicians and artists. Thanks to his work as a member of the Dayton, Ohio-based band Slave and his own solo work, Arrington has had the unique place of being around as hip hop first started as the likes of the Sugar Hill Gang and Grandmaster Flash once opened for Slave, and a being a major influence on West Coast hip hop, as his work along with Parliament Funkadelic became regularly sampled.
After a twenty year hiatus in which Arrington was devoted to God and to studying various genres of music, he released his first release in over 20 years in 2009, Pure Thang.
Interestingly, as Arrington jumped back into music again, Stones Throw Records‘ Dam Funk had reached out to Arrington for a possible collaboration. Label head Peanut Butter Wolf had originally met Dam Funk through the exchange of a rare live performance of a Slave show, so in some way it seems both strangely fitting and yet right.
“Higher” is he first single from the duo’s collaborative effort, which will be released later this year, and the track which has Dam Funk producing the beats and Arrington on vocals sounds as though it could have been released in 1984 — or 2013. So it’s synth-based but it’s funky as hell. This track, however is just the funky as hell instrumental and I think y’all will dig it.