in the interest of broadcasting nothing but quality audio gems, i present to you the sexiest incarnation of Maxwell‘s debut single as an artist back in 1996: …Til The Cops Come Knockin’. as was the case with all of Maxwell’s singles from Urban Hang Suite & Embrya, this CD single features an extended cut of the song (in 3 parts) and a companion b-side (i say “companion” cos the sound and subject matter of Lock U Up N’ Luv Fa Days stays close to the narrative of TTCCK). over the coming weeks i will be sporadically chucking up most of Max’s singles under the title The Maxwell Files, simply because the time and dedication he had to craft his singles as ‘expansion packs’, almost always containing one or two remixed versions of the song (and a sweet b-side), should be revered and remembered. the thought that went into them really shows Max’s dedication to maintaining the overall story that’s being told (over the course of his first two studio albums) and a dedication to further mythologising his artistic persona.
that and tracks 02-04 is some of the sexiest music u will ever hear in ur lifetimes (track 01 is merely the radio edit of the original album version and can be skipped, the real fun starts at track 02).
01. cut (4:13)
02. pt. 01 (6:53)
03. pt. 02 (5:42)
04. pt. 3 (uncut) (6:02)
05. lock u up n’ love fa days (p+4) (5:25)
(links updated as of 28/06/2015)
i have always loved Maxwell‘s aesthetic from the get-go, cos in an era when everything was incorporating more and more hip hop, Max reached further back to reignite & present anew the sound of 80s soul, r&b and funk. he seemingly debuted as a complete ‘artiste’, carving his own lane in the supposed musical resurgence known as “neo-soul” (a simple but effective title, & one i never saw as a point of derision). but he always stood out, he had a little extra x factor that couldn’t be easily duplicated. it ranges from his appearance to the badass musicians he’s surrounded himself with over the years, all the way to picking his debut single from his debut album (which, at his behest, features his face on the back cover instead of the front: Max’s way of putting the focus on the music & the narrative). …Til The Cops, as the story goes, was his personal choice for 1st single, whereas the label were more comfortable with sure bets like Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder) & Sumthin’ Sumthin’ (hits-in-the-making). the video, which is at times derided by fans for being too simplistic, is among my favourite Maxwell music videos. the concept? Max takes a young lady into a hotel/motel (room 508 to be exact) and proceeds to seduce her by crawling and slithering all over the place. oh and hey, that’s some nice frign wallpaper!
the song itself (after a bit of reflection), funnily enough, is not Maxwell‘s signature sound, which makes it yet another intriguing choice for 1st single. the music is (if anything) a heavy nod to R. Kelly’s 12 Play era of sexy slow-jams, cept jazzed up to the hilt. M’s true sound lay in clean crisp drums, live slapped basslines & keyboard melodies n riffs that are nothing short of instant vintage, not to mention timeless. again, this single is an interesting choice to lead off with cos we’re thrown right into the middle of the story, narrative-wise. but dammit, it WORKS. …Til The Cops may not have been the song that sent Maxwell rocketing to stardom, it IS however one of the coolest n sexiest (and ballsiest, to some extent) debuts for an artist i’ve ever heard.
& finally here’s a preview of the extended cut via YouTube, where some kind soul has mixed in tracks 02 & 03 (pt. 01 + 02) to form one luscious piece of ‘jazzsexy’ (c).