Moments With Aloe Blacc: Orchestral Hip Hop

Chris Higgins

I first stumbled across singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc when rounding up covers of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" for The Late Movies. Blacc is a hell of a singer, and his talents are highlighted in a concert film from 2011 at the MADE creative space in Berlin. Blacc sings, accompanied by an orchestral string section. It's shockingly beautiful, intimate, and soulful. The folks at MADE describe it like so:

The Film - "Moments with ALOE BLACC, Mihalj "MIKI" Kekenj & JAYBO" Creating moments is the driving force behind MADE, and one such moment occurred with the culmination of a creative journey that involved singer & songwriter Aloe Blacc, violinist & composer Mihalj "Miki" Kekenj and painter Jaybo, who came together, each armed with their talent and experience from their respective creative discipline, to create...a moment.

These videos are all available in full 1080p HD at Vimeo, though they can't be downloaded. If you want to see the "Billie Jean" cover, skip to the last song. (It's fantastic.)

"Take Me Back"

"If I"

"Mama Hold My Hand"

"Loving You is Killing Me"

"I Need a Dollar"

You might recognize this as the intro music for HBO's How to Make It In America.

"Billie Jean"

I love the moment when the audience realizes what the song is, after an extended intro.