Cody Chesnutt is best known for collaborating with The Roots on their hit “The Seed 2.0” from 2002. But before that, Chesnutt’s version of “The Seed” appeared on his double album debut Headphone Masterpiece. Recorded entirely on a 4-track in his home, Chesnutt delivered a highly acclaimed collection of lo-fi R&B, before lo-fi R&B was even cool. Now after an extended hiatus, a new social conscious dose has been delivered. The Black Skin No Value EP is clearly meant as nothing more than an appetizer with its six tracks totaling less than 12 minutes worth of music. The production has gotten cleaner, but elements of lo-fi remain as the central songs feature nothing but Chesnutt’s vocals backed up by sparse acoustics. “Everybody's Brother” has him painting a picture of that token former street thug who "used to smoke crack back in the day" but now "teach[es] kids in sunday school." The closers "Where is All the Money Going" and "To Be Upon the Perch" has Chesnutt reflecting on the American recession in a Marvin Gaye "What's Going On" type of style, the latter of which features the most emotion filled (but barely there) arrangement on the release.
Hopefully Black Skin No Value is just something to wet the palate. A full-length is long overdue, but this definitely quenches the thirst for a bit.
And here is a throwback with the video for "The Seed 2.0" with The Roots.