I recall the first time I heard Santogold -excuse me- Santigold‘s debut, self-titled album and was blown away by the mashing of genres. This was 2008, when KiD CuDi was blowing up with “Day N Nite.”
As some of you may know, I’m a lover of all genres of music: funk, soul, latin, roots reggae, dancehall, EDM, punk, post-punk, new wave and the list goes on.
That Santogold LP seemed to blend all of that into one. Songs like “L.E.S. Artistes,” “Your Voice” (a bonus track), “Unstoppable,” etc. It’s also no surprise that she’s an amazing songwriter. She helped fellow Philly native and soul singer Res write her album How I Do, and even had writing credits for GZA’s title track, “Beneath the Surface.”
Just recently, however, while trading old punk rock vinyl with a buddy of mine, did I discover that she was in a short-lived, but amazing “afropunk” band called Stiffed.
Stiffed combined all the elements of late 70s/early 80s punk, post-punk, new wave, no wave and ska punk. Think No Doubt, but better; before good old, beautiful Gwen sold out. The band consisted of bassist Chris Shar and Chuck Treece (who has filled in as a drummer for Pearl Jam and has toured with those bad motherf*ckers Bad Brains).
Although they only released one EP (Sex Sells, which is kind of “meh”) and one full length album, Burned Again, her stint in the short lived band eventually got her a solo deal. The latter project/LP was produced by the one-and-only Darryl Jennifer of the hardcore punk band Bad Brains and The White Mandingos (with MURS) fame, so you know they held no punches.
Stiffed – Straight Jackers
Stiffed – Run
GZA – Beneath the Surface f. Killah Priest & Res
Santigold – Your Voice (Japanese Bonus Track)
TL;DR: Santi White is f*cking awesome.