When two unconventional minds, both of which share a love for music, came together in 2000 as a musical duo, it resulted in Atlanta-based hip-hop soulsters "Slick & Rose." A true Southerner, Nikki "Slick" Ervin counts her Mobile, Alabama church upbringing as having the most influence in her musical background. Sabrina "Rose" Harvey, born and raised in the concrete jungle of New York City, credits her love of hip-hop and her Jamaican heritage with influencing much of her early years.
When asked to describe their combined musical style, these ladies agree that their music is fluid, and not true to just one music genre. "The foundation of our music is hip-hop and we use that foundation as a platform to branch off into R&B, reggae, rock and soul," says Rose. Their palate of musical inspirations seems to reflect their musical prowess - the ladies admire legends like Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald as well as modern day divas Lauren Hill and Gwen Stefani.
Although the group title comes from their lifelong nicknames, the name "Slick & Rose" reflects more of an attitude than a cliché. "Slick & Rose create a vibe of ''sweet'' mixed with ''street''. We speak in a language that women can relate to without alienating men," says Slick. Their edgy, urban tracks laced with hardcore beats and hypnotic melodies reflect their chameleon-like style.
Without so much as an EP available in stores, Slick & Rose joined the Okayplayer Tour in Japan with Rahzel and the Jazzyfatnastees of The Roots crew, performed at the world renowned Black Lilly showcase twice, the Atlantis Music Conference 2003 and performed with and/or opened for some of the most talented and respected people in the music industry today, including: Geffen recording artist Common, Hidden Beach recording artist Kindred, Columbia recording artist Vivian Green, Geffen recording artist Scratch, who is a member of The Roots and spokesperson for Coca-Cola, critically acclaimed Motown recording artist Donnie, former Lucy Pearl member Joi, Capitol Records recording artist Slum Village, and co-wrote the song, "U Know U Want It" with Phife of the Grammy-award wining Tribe Called Quest. They most recently opened for Rocafella Records platinum artist/producer, Kanye West.
Now Slick & Rose are back with their debut album, Objects in the Mirror, released through P-Vine Records in Japan in 2003 and with a much-anticipated U.S. release in March 2004. The album is packed with hip-hop soul classics written and arranged by the duo and features the cult classic, "Milk & Honey," featuring DRES tha Beatnik, "U Know U Want It" with Phife Dawg, of a Tribe Called Quest and the modern classic, "Watch U Weary."
Objects in the Mirror is sure to be at the top of the charts in 2004. Slick & Rose is definitely the group to watch.
For additional information and booking inquires please contact Soul Hippie Music Group, LLC at 404.221.9255 or [email protected]://www.tradebit.com. Also be sure to check out
AT THE SHOWCASE FOR...
Slick & Rose
AJC AccessAtlanta, January 22, 2004
by Sonia Murray
As experienced through the haze of various adult nighttime cold medicines: a not-so-engaging opening act, and a spoken word performer whose work included something like: "if a woman has sex with you after you buy her drinks, she doesn''t like you, she likes to drink...."
And why all of that background, you ask? Because even in that "haze" it was impossible not to pick up that Atlanta has yet another vibrant act headed down the pipeline. It''s easy to want to place Slick & Rose in the Floetry category, since they''re two women of the hip-hop era, but they also are accomplished vocalists who know how to direct attention their way. It''s only a matter of time before their import release, "Objects in the Mirror," finds its way to the store here.
Peppermint Music manager Rico Brooks looked around Vinyl and noted that it felt like the old Ying Yang Café (where India Arie and others were groomed). There were musicians (singer Kerisha Roi, jazz artist Michael Johnson, and drummer Maynard "Buzzy" Jackson III), music execs (Groovement''s Richard Dunn) and others of the industry (DJ Salah Ananse, photographer John Crooms) all in one place, as fans.
10 minutes with S&R
https://www.tradebit.com, March 2004
by Brian Short
Soul Songtress Slick and Rose have been featured on Highergroundonline before, but when we found out that they were opening for Kanye West in Atlanta last month, we couldn''t pass up the chance to reunite with the ladies and "rap a taste". Our correspondent B. Short sits down with (Nikki Slick and Sabrina Rose) and talks about everything from Japanese love to Mixtape DJ''s.
B: Ladies you did a hell of a show tonight I mean great energy!
S&R: Oh wow! Thank you.
B: I just want to hit you with a few questions to give our readers a little more about you two. How did you form the group?
Sabrina: We met at an open Jam session back in ''96.
After a brief intermission because Kanye West wanted to meet the ladies we continue.
B: When you sit down to write do you listen to the track first or do you write the lyrics?
S: I love these types of questions. Let''s see what do we do?
N: Listen to the tracks over and over and over and over again. We put it on repeat. We wake up in the morning and listen to it and go to bed listening to it.
S: Sometimes we may come up with a hook or something or a verse or a melody... we work the song around whoever came up with something first.
B: So no one drives the writing process, it depends on the day or the time?
S: Yeah it just depends. For example Objects in the Mirror (the title cut from the forthcoming album), we had that track for a long time and didn''t know what to write to it.
Basically it''s like this, whoever comes up with something first we give it to the other and go over it and spend a day or so getting it together and getting it right. 9 times out of 10 we know each other pretty well. Basically because we work together so much I know what Nikki will go for and vice versa.
N: We have an understanding of where the song is going; we have a kinship.
S: We don''t have to explain to each other where the song is going.
N: Something else that is fascinating about the way we work. She could be doing a melody and I could be doing something totally opposite somewhere else, like in a whole ''nother part of the house, like upstairs or downstairs and if I come upstairs I''ll be like " I came up with something" and she''ll say "I did to" and...it blends so well. It will be another rhythmic pattern or I''ll have a different melody and it''s still congruent and works, it''s mathematics.
B: You talk about your parents as inspirations in one of your songs.
S: Yeah Watch You Weary
B: Tell us a little about that song.
S: Wow Ok, that song was produced by Mark Baldwin. We had the music for a while. Something about the chords and the way they were being played made me sad. I didn''t know where the it was going and I came up with a verse and did the hook...I was kind of worried because I thought the hook was kind of unusual and that people wouldn''t get it but then she reaffirmed that it was good and then she wrote her verse and the bridge and it just came together.
B: So you guys are reppin'' on the Japanese charts and been as high as number 2 where do you stand right now.
S: I don''t know it varies from week to week, but P-Vine has done a great job of marketing us.
S: At our show at Vinyl recently, there were some people who were told from their friends and family in Japan about us. And they came out to see us. That was great!
B: What do you see as your biggest challenge here in the states? Japan loves you but what can we do here in the U.S. to pump you guys up?
S: Well Nikki and I are independent. We run our own company, Soul Hippie Music Group, because when we were looking for a deal here in the U.S. we ran into a lot of opposition, basically a lot of no''s.
S: Shut Down! Shut Out! When we went to Japan we got a lot of energy. The people there saw something in us that the record execs here did not.
What people can do here is 1. Support good music and independent music that you like and want to see do well; support it. Because this life is not easy, Nikki and I have sacrificed a lot to pursue our dreams and have done so at all cost. We have been homeless
N: You know what I''m sayin''
S: Had our car broken into, eaten ramen noodles
B: We all been there
S: Cause you don''t want to eat no more ramen noodles...support come out to the shows. Music execs take a chance; I''m sayin'' it''s not even a chance. But they feel like they have their jobs on the line, but there are people out there that want to hear good music it''s not even about us being different. I don''t see why we can''t go on behind a Jay-Z, followed by a Beyonce and then an Alicia Keys. That''s all we want is a chance!
I''m trying to say something without using profanity
B: Keep it real!
S: We just want to get our make off! Get in the door and be like I''m here!
B: I think the opportunity is coming I see it in both of you. It''s just a matter of time.
OK one last question, something fun. Slick & Rose are the country''s hottest DJ and you have to put together a mix tape, what 10 songs would be on it?
N: Lucifer! Especially that Lucifer! There will be quite a few things, Obie Trice
S: Yeah Obie Trice
N: "The Set Up" let''s see "Shook Ones"
B: It can be old, new and doesn''t have to be Hip Hop, just 10 tracks that define S&R
N: Gotta have that Mobb Deep on there
S: It doesn''t have to be all Hip Hop? But it won''t blend well
B: That''s alright
S: Because I want to say Fionna Apple, really that whole album but I''ll say "Used to Dream", who else Maroon 5 "This Love"
N: Tribe, what''s that one?
S: "Check the Rhyme"
N: Yeah "Check the Rhyme"
S: Anything jazz, Sade, Sting, Steely Dan, Nikka Costa, Stevie, Talib Kweli, Skillz, Tupac, Biggie, Nice and Smooth, Black Moon
B: You just hit me with like 20 Bangers!
S: Gotta have some early Run, PE, we just talked about this the other day how everything that Public Enemy says is like an exclamation point.
N: Just hard
S: Yeah that''s a good start...
If I do say so myself with these ladies there is no stopping them and with musical influences as diverse as they have described there should never be a lack of inspiration. We at HGO support independent music and urge you to do the same. Stay positive and support that which reflects positivity. Fear and Procrastination are our only hindrances....kick them to the curb.
Where Street Meets Sweet
Slick & Rose defy labeling with sonic gumbo
Creative Loafing Atlanta, August 14, 2003
by Edward M. Garnes, Jr.
The corporate music machine loves labels. R&B, rock, pop, alternative, rap -- they''re those cute little genres record execs can''t live without. They can also be lethal, closing minds to potential talent faster than you can say "neo-soul."
Want proof? Not long ago, veteran industry exec Steve Stoute passed on signing a hip-hop pianist named Alicia Keys because he couldn''t label her gift. Critically acclaimed crooner Maxwell found his platinum-selling Urban Hang Suite shelved by Columbia Records for nearly a year as nervous suits wondered if consumers would shell out the dough for layered instrumentation and meaningful lyrics.
With the odds so stacked against creative spirits intent on doing it their way, Atlanta-based songbirds Slick & Rose are unwavering in their intent to change the game. They eschew short-lived trends and refuse to dumb themselves down for mainstream approval or join the ranks of their scantily clad, headline-grabbing cohorts. The duo flips hip-hop stylings into soulful ear candy in a way that has won them a multicultural fan base, from the head-wrapped divas of the Dirty South to Japanese converts conveying their approval in broken English.
"We are nonconformist," Rose says. "We like our own space and respect people being in theirs. You have to be comfortable in your own skin."
Adds Slick, "You gotta play your position and not be judgmental. People are starved for variety and we try to give them just that."
Mix the edgy chic of a NYC native with Jamaican roots -- Sabrina "Rose" -- with a Southern-fried sista from Alabama -- Nikki "Slick" -- and the result is the eclectic soul musings of Slick & Rose. A perfect combo of street meets sweet, the group cites Nina Simone, Mary J Blige, Ella Fitzgerald and Nikka Costa as muses.
Slick & Rose''s first a cappella performances shook the stage three years ago at Jessica Care Moore''s now defunct MoorEpics Cafe, a downtown training ground for upcoming vocalists, poets and musicians. But it was 2002''s performance at Atlanta''s Royal Peacock that served as their coming-out party and led to an invite to perform at the acclaimed "Black Lilly," an open mic-style event at Philadelphia''s Five Spot club that promotes new, unknown soul music.
Soon to become the stuff of legend, the Philly show -- boasting pure vocals, a microphone and legendary Roots member Scratch riding shotgun as a vocal percussionist -- provided the jolt the burgeoning duo needed. It wasn''t long before they found themselves performing with the Roots and Jazzyfatnastees in Japan as part of the Black Lilly Tour, and not much longer before they were rocking stages with the likes of Common, Joi, Black Cat, Vivian Green, Ledisi and one of the group''s most vocal supporters, Phife of hip-hop legends A Tribe Called Quest.
Slick & Rose''s underground hit is a song Rose says she wrote as a "hip-hop ode to Bobby McFerrin" one day in 1997. "I was at work," she says, "and the words and the harmony just came to me."
"Milk & Honey," a fluid display of the duo''s vocal chops -- without background singers, stacked studio vocals or musical accompaniment -- best embodies Slick & Rose''s genre-hopping style. Dripping with grit, soul and raw emotion, the song is nothing short of a millennium spiritual.
Though they continue to fall below the radar, Slick & Rose carry through in their mission to change lives one show at a time. "We live and create art," Slick says. "We are a small part of an intricate whole, and like others we are constantly exploring ourselves."
When 2 Become 1... Slick & Rose
No, I am not speaking "holy" matrimony. However, that very symbolic portion of the wedding ceremony, where the bride and groom each use separate flames to ignite a new everlasting fire together, seems appropriate in this discussion. In my opinion, that ritual represents one of the most significant ideals within the context of a "marriage," and it is the best way I can describe the sound of the Atlanta-based duo Slick & Rose.
Slick & Rose, a female duo comprised of Nikki Slick and Sabrina Rose have each found a musical "soulmate" in each other. Fate has seen fit to cross these two artist''s paths and the result is a rare musical marriage that does not occur often enough in music today. Slick, a Mobile, Alabama native, and Rose, born and bred in New York City, have brought their musical journeys to a crossroads and have intertwined their separate sounds into a new seamless amalgamation. This is not some record label executive''s idea of trying to combine two vocalists into a ready-made group recipe and "stirring." These two young ladies are, for lack of a better term, FOR REAL.
Upon listening to Slick & Rose, one thing that jumps out immediately is a very soothing quality that permeates throughout their music. Their penchant for tight harmonies combined with light-hearted melodies is immediately apparent on the headnodder "Alright." Over a bed of simple piano chords and an "in the pocket" drum track, the ladies combine to make a feel-good composition about self-examination.
The ladies continue their harmonic bliss with the bouncy "Hey You." With a slightly "heavier" melody, Slick and Rose clearly display the synergy of their voices as they flawlessly trade verses and bars with the precision of RUN DMC combined with the angelic vocal tones of predecessors and influences that range from the Supremes to EnVogue. What is truly amazing is how well their voices blend together. It is as if they are "vocal siblings" separated at birth.
No matter how good an artist''s material is overall, there is always a "favorite" song. Well, in this particular case, the song that has been on repeat for the past few weeks in my car''s CD changer is their live recording of "Milk & Honey." Over vocal percussion provided by DRES the Beatnik, the ladies show that there is nothing manufactured or studio-enhanced about their sound. It does not get much more organic than two vocalists, a beatbox and a few microphones. And the ladies, along with Dres as sound-provider, deliver a truly memorable and intoxicating performance of the subtly-explicit track.
Slick & Rose are poised to become stars in the music industry. It is impossible for the listener to not fall under the musical spell of their mesmerizing vocals. These ladies are blessed with a unique sound that combines two separate entities into one singular creation that nothing short of "destiny" could have brought about. I hope and pray that my "marriage" is as successful as the one between these two voices and the music they create.
For more information on Slick & Rose please visit [https://www.tradebit.com].
Slick & Rose One Sheet
Innovative...Creative...Superbly Executed, SLICK & ROSE are clearly rising stars.
The SLICK & ROSE debut album, Objects in the Mirror, serves heart-felt vocals, beautiful harmonies and insightful lyrics by the pound.
This hip-hop/neo-soul opus, written, arranged and executive produced by Slick & Rose, packs enough punch for b-boys and b-girls a like, but also has the introspective lyrics and vocal maturity, satisfying the cravings of neo-soulites. Nikki SLICK and Sabrina ROSE have managed to blend the soul of the South and the gritty-ness of the North into a fusion of feel good music. Objects in the Mirror is a testament to the Slick & Rose belief that the answers to life''s most ailing questions are often right in front of you.
A perfect coupling of live instrumentation and programming, Objects in the Mirror re-invents the traditional sound of soul without sacrificing sweet guitar riffs, heavy bass lines and catchy hooks. The album has several stellar moments including the Latin inspired "Runaway," the old school love song "Mean" produced by DJ Rasta Root (Phife Dawg) and the Loose Ends inspired, "Space" produced by DJ Kemit (Arrested Development/Laurnea). The songs that round out this project give hints of the pairs'' Reggae, Jazz, and African influences with a subtly that is both creatively arranged and seductively harmonic. The ode to family, "Watch U Weary" ends with a twist of drum-n-bass, while the sexy a capella masterpiece "Milk & Honey" featuring DRES tha Beatnik, is the very definition of a hip-hop love song. The cherry on top is the bonus track "U Know U Want It" with Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest fame. This bouncy track is the perfect blend of new and old schools with a definite nod to Hip-Hop''s golden era.
Simply put, Objects in the
Mirror is the album you WANT.
Hands down... THE Independent
Album of the year.
1. What U Hear
2. Hey You
5. Love Is
7. Bona Fide
9. Watch U Weary
11. Number 9
12. Milk & Honey feat. DRES tha Beatnik
Bonus: U Know U Want It w/ Phife Dawg (of A Tribe Called Quest)
Slick & Rose Discography
Objects in the Mirror
Soul Hippie Music Group, 2004
"Can You Stand the Reign?"
"You Know You Want It"
Phife (A Tribe Called Quest)
Smokin'' Needles Records
"Love According to Dexter"
Phife (A Tribe Called Quest)
"Milk and Honey" feat. DRES tha Beatnik
Have Mic Will Travel... The Live Album
"What''ca know about the LRG?"
LRG Magic Show Compilation
DJ Drama Automatic Relaxation Mix CD 4
DJ Drama Automatic Relaxation Mix CD 5
DJ Drama Automatic Relaxation Mix CD 6
DJ Drama Automatic Relaxation Mix CD 7
Proton, Vintage Vegetarians
"Welcome to Atlantis"
Aquil, Wordslife: A Thin Line between Poetry and Hip-hop
"Move Your Body" and
"Ain''t Nothing Gonna Stop Us"
Slick & Rose Performances
Kanye West - Earthlink Live, Atlanta
Slick & Rose Album Listening Party - Vinyl, Atlanta
Poetry & Passion - Earthlink Live, Atlanta
Atlantis Music Conference - Apache Café, Atlanta
ASCAP Smirnoff Ice Showcase - Park Tavern, Atlanta
Vivian Green - The Black Cat, Washington, D.C.
Beat Society - The Five Spot, Philadelphia
Black Lilly (opened for Kindred) - The Five Spot, Philadelphia
Black Lilly Tour - The Blue Note Jazz Clubs, Japan
Soulville Tour - The Cotton Club, Atlanta
Joi - Earthlink Live, Atlanta
Slum Village - Tour Roxy, Atlanta
V103-For Sisters Only - Georgia World Congress Center, ATL
Sweet Auburn Festival - Auburn Avenue, Atlanta
Tampax Total You Tour - Georgia World Congress Center, ATL
Rick Brawn - Centennial Park, Atlanta
Centennial Park Summer Series - Centennial Park, Atlanta
Maya Neida, B Street Live T.V. Show - Havana Club, Atlanta
Infinite Possibilities Showcase - The Royal Peacock, Atlanta
Slick & Rose - The Havana Club, Atlanta
Slick & Rose - The Apache Café, Atlanta
U Know U Want It - Phife Dawg
b/w "Diggy Dialect" & "4 Da Cream"
Smokin'' Needles Records
Import Tuner Magazine - Required Audio Music Reviews
by Joel Marasigan
"Phife Dawg unleashes his new single, "U Know U Want It," with songstresses Slick & Rose. This lead single is the jump-off to "Smokin'' Needles" in 2003. Mixing Phife''s witty delivery, which has made him a household name, with newcomers Slick & Rose makes for a perfect match to the sick beat that DJ Rasta Root blessed them with. The single is sure to be in heavy rotation in trucks, on the radio, in clubs and on mixtapes. True Phife Dawg and ATCQ fans will get a preview of what the 5-footer has been concocting! The B side is for the grimy cats that love grimy sh*t. "4 da Cream" introduces underground sensation Jax to the world. Guaranteed to please the mixtape DJ and hardcore hip hop fans. Listeners are in for a treat with "Diggy Dialect." Phife teams up with dancehall great Hawkeye, where they show what can happen when a Trini links up with a Jamaican. The tune is guaranteed to get serious spins in the dancehalls, with its up tempo, infectious riddim. All production is handled by Dj Rasta Root.
Trainspotting: Slick & Rose
Urban City, Vol. 2 Issue 5
by Dominga Martin
It''s hot as hell in the underground...
It may seem as if the soulful duo Slick & rose are blowing up overnight. However, these two are not just one-hit wonders or an out-of-the-blue sensation. Slick & Rose formulated in 2000 after an on again off again musical affair as the threesome "Manifest" which formulated in 1997. After splitting up and going their separate ways, Nikki "Slick" and Sabrina "Rose" found themselves inseparable once again with the third member of the group setting on a solo career.
Soon infectious harmonies and live performance at the legendary Royal Peacock in Atlanta put these two ladies on the map - heading straight for success.
Merely a couple of months ago the girls packed in a jeep and drove to Philadelphia where they were ordained at the infamous Black Lily. A venue noted for blazing the trails of India Arie and Jill Scott. Although Scratch from the Grammy Award winning group The Roots beat boxed to their underground hit "Milk & Honey" the girls were not pleased with their performance.
"We just went to Philly, did Black Lily and we didn''t even think we did good. We were just ready to get the hell out of there!" reveals Slick.
Unbeknownst to them, they were under a watchful eye. Later, a phone call was received in which the ladies were complemented on their Lily performance and handpicked to accompany the Jazzy Phat Nastees on a promotional tour in Japan with another popular recording artist - Rahzel.
No record deal - no seasoned track record, yet they are finding themselves being compared to some of the best in the business. "It''s just crazy for us!" says Slick, "We''re still in the development stage, yet we''re getting respected by people we respect."
Rose interjects, "We have a great deal of respect for all of the duo''s we''re compared to and think they''re very talented, however, we don''t believe creativity is about competition. Although we are aware of the comparisons, I would say that our music and vibe is a lot more than hip-hop."
Stepping into a Slick & Rose show is like being in a classic old school concert. With heads bopping to their hypnotic melodies and singing to savvy lyrics, there is a lot of interaction with the audience. Lovers of language, sound and style, these two chic chicks want you to pay attention to not just what you see, but what they''re saying. "We spend a lot of time choosing the right words and what we say is honest, from our point of view - we hope our writing is appreciated and the audience leaves feeling like they know us," says Rose.
However, lately, the girls have found themselves taking time out from co-producing and arranging tracks to arranging sentences in their newfound language - Japanese! "We''re not just learning formal Japanese to survive but slang words too," states Rose.
"We''re looking forward to seeing how we''re received in Japan... just ready to be immersed in their culture and in their own walks of life," says Rose, "We''re just as excited about seeing them as they are about seeing us!"
And so is the city of Atlanta as they prepare to send the ladies off with a farewell concert at the legendary Apache Café - a perfect way to begin a successful journey.
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