Album Preview: Idris Elba (aka Driis) – High Class Problems
by Winston "Stone" Ford
Driis – Private Garden (Produced by 9th Wonder)
Driis – Rise Up
Whenever I think of actors turned singers, I think of Eddie Murphy’s “Party All The Time.” (Dammit, now that song is stuck in my head!)
However, Idris Elba’s newest project (as alter ego Driis) is making me reconsider. Elba, who has been recording as Driis for a while now, got such producers as 9th Wonder behind the boards of his new EP, titled High Class Problems, which drops on February 8th.
The sound is very “East London Underground,” with a moody, left-of-center style that would make Benji B or Gilles Peterson fans happy (Idris leaves his London accent in tact), but might leave fans of The Wire scratching their heads. It’s not hip-hop, it’s not R&B. And that’s a good thing. The two tracks that leaked so far remind me of if Mos Def’s Umi Says was combined with the catalog of UK Rapper Roots Manuva.
I’ve had the opportunity to see Idris DJ not once, but twice when I was in NYC, and the dude’s knowledge of music is unprecedented. Can’t wait for February 8th.