So when Justin Timberlake does the beat box and sings with Al Green, he suddenly has street cred? Disney must have stock in hip-hop because the mouseketeers got hard all of a sudden... Please don't be puzzled by my concern, after all music is in a state of emergency. I'm not saying i'm here to save black music, just don't tell me i'm not black enough if i pick up a banjo. Oh and by the way, neo-soul is a wrap, done, finito."
She's the angel who wears her halo as a belt. In a homogeneous music society, a beacon of hope has been discovered and brought to light in the form of a gifted songstress named Kim Hill. On her upcoming highly anticipated album, Pharaoh's Daughter, Kim provides her listeners a taste of lyrical boldness, leaving no stone unturned. A style and standard which is uniquely her own. She effortlessly manifests an eclectic and harmonious vibe and transports her fans to what she refers to as a throw back. "Just think Diana Ross in Mahogony meets the ancient Egyptian Dynasties, the Pharaoh's Daugther. Bring it up to date with what's going on socially, globally and in hip-hop and you'll find me standing there adjusting my A-cup bra waiting to hit the mike." She possesses an indistinguishable reverence to the soul divas of yesteryears by encompassing invigorating vocals with thought-induced messages that silhouette charismatic, rhythmically charged production that simultaneously blazes a trail for her brand of melodic global flow.
"Don't call it a comeback! I've been here for years," is what LL Cool J told the world in the early 90's. This exclamation seems appropriately fitting for a woman who has been on the scene since 1995. Kim is not just another new face in a sea of female "neo-soul" songbirds with headwraps and incense behind their ears. Kim's music creates it's own trademark and her live performances create it's own audience. She has shared the stage with a spectrum of artists including the late Biggie Smalls, Outkast, The Black Eyed Peas, The Pharcyde, Cody Chestnutt, Slum Village, Raphel Saadiq, Jody Watley, De La Soul, Martin Luther, Medusa, No Doubt, A Tribe Called Quest and Aaliyah to name a few. She even co-wrote on Tupac's "Mamas just a Little Girl," an ode to young single mothers off his 2x multi-platinum album, Better Dayz. However it was the chance meeting in 1995 at a BMI Showcase with Interscope's multicultural alternative hip-hop group, The Black Eyed Peas that sent Kim on a whirlwind adventure that would ultimately change her career. The Peas fell hard for Kim. They embraced her sound and brought her into the studio with them where she co-wrote several songs on their groundbreaking album, Behind the Front including the hit, "The Way You Make Me Feel." Kim became known as the Peas stand out vocalist and quickly assimilated into the roots of their progressive family tree, contributing to numerous tracks on both Behind the Front and Bridging the Gap. Hill's writing style and concepts gave birth to songs such as "On My Own", which featured Les Nubians and Mos Def as well as the irrepressible "Hot." Even the members of Cypress Hill agreed, "The Peas give an entertaining show with having the live band and dancing all over the place, but their singer Kim Hill is dope!" Kim's relationship with the Peas allowed her to share her voice internationally, touring to places such as India and the UK, but while she was free- styling with the guys on stage, Kim still remained focused on pursuing her solo career. The original female member of the Black Eyed Peas and a soloist in her own right, Kim has been paying her dues in the music industry for a minute.
The youngest of three children born in Syracuse, New York, Kim learned how to play the violin and piano at the tender age of six and continued throughout high school. She was accepted into the dance program at the University of The Arts in Philadelphia, which allowed her the creative outlet she was searching for. She was guided by professors including the legendary Judith Jamieson (Alvin Ailey), enjoyed a stint as a dancer for the Philadelphia 76er's and had colleagues such as ?uestlove from the Grammy nominated hip-hop group, The Roots.
After her tenure with the Peas, Kim began to grow artistically as a producer and writer, learning how to play the guitar and reconnecting with the violin. She soon captured the attention of executives at Interscope Records with whom she was signed to in 1998. But in any rainbow country the road is rocky. Kim was dropped by Interscope in 1999 out of fear that her, "music wasn't black enough." However as with most great musicians who are shunned by mainstream bigwigs for going against the grain like Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie "Bird" Parker who invented Bee Bop, Kim believed in her music as did her supporters and she knew the noise couldn't be silenced. The release from Interscope provided the ammunition for Kim's first independent solo release, Surrender to Her Sunflower. Sunflower was an honest and raw display of Hill's talents but the powers that be just didn't foresee enough capital to keep their dynasty secure. Surrender to Her Sunflower was a serene journey through a spectrum of emotions, from the beautiful "Read Between the Lines" to her own acoustic rewiring of the Eagle's "Hotel California." The LA Weekly praised the debut by saying, "Hill's Surrender to Her Sunflower is a testament to her marvelous vocal and songwriting talent......the album features the singer's dexterous soprano gliding across a 7-song expanse of laid-back, sensuous soul." The video for "Sunshine" featured appearances from Les Nubians and appeared in regular rotation on MTV Europe and BET which kim produced and co-directed. Kim's voice exhibits a soft resonance that can explode passionately on cue, with lyrics that harmoniously match her powerful presence. Before she knew it, the young girl who was inspired by both Nina Simone, Bill Withers and Sade and the young woman who traveled to Los Angeles with $36 in her pocket was rocking packed houses, such as SOB's in New York and the Viper Room in Los Angeles.
Now with her latest CD masterpiece, Suga Hill, the scribe and soloist who was nominated by the LA Weekly for Best Contemporary Blues/R&B Artist in both 2001, 2002 & 2003 has created an illustrious following in the Los Angeles music scene and is finally making her mark in an industry that so desperately craves diversity. "By the time you reach the end of this L.A. dame's self-distributed full-length debut, one thought constantly plays over and over in your head: Many of Hill's honey-dripping melodies are covered with mid-tempo, bounce-heavy grooves that give the album a fanciful, retro charge. (If this were 1986, Hill would be so the shit!)," says the Philadelphia Weekly. "Basically" has a smooth midnight soul sound full of sensual mystique, inspired by Roberta Flack's 1976 hit, "Feel like Making Love" and is complete with scratches provided by Maseo from the hip hop trio, De La Soul. "Taxicab" is Kim's ode to The Pharcyde's 1992 classic, "Passing Me By," where she explains that the glitz of the entertainment industry will ultimately come to an end and those that relish in this lifestyle will eventually be passed on by. However it's on "The Real Hip-Hop" that Kim brings heat and clarity to those fans that questioned her departure from the Peas in 2000. She sings, "It was all good then things changed, new management they rearranged. No loyalty for your kinfolk, who's the white girl singing in your video? "I would be a buffoon if I gave my audience an inch shy of the truth, even if I end up falling flat on my face. No minstrel shows here thank you."
In essence, Kim personifies vintage Soul and Hip Hop and it's her beautiful voice and surprisingly different point of view that keeps the songs sounding fresh with each and every listen. "The Peas gave up a treasure when they lost Kim." Even MTV.com remarked, "Guest vocalists aren't the only thing lacking on Elephunk - the album is also without former Black Eyed Peas singer Kim Hill, who played an integral role on Bridging the Gap." Suga Hill awakens the spirit in 9 ear-pleasing tracks. Kim has that magical attribute to mesmerize audiences of various generations, as well as those of vast social and ethnic backgrounds. Suga Hill threads old-school soul roots with modern day imagination and creativity, capturing the essence of what quality music and diversification is all about. Kim's third cd, "Pharaoh's Daughter", is said to be one of the best independent releases of the year. Look for the album to hit retail this summer with songs like, "Disney", "Hollywood" and "Right Now" to shake up the industry in a much needed fashion.