By Annie Zaleski
Boulevards is the moniker of Jamil Rashad, who grew up in a musical household — his father was a jazz radio DJ — and dabbled in the punk and hardcore scene as a teen. However, the Raleigh, North Carolina-based songwriter now favors eclectic funk. “Donezo,” a standout on Boulevards’ 2017 album, Hurtown, USA, is a ’80s Minneapolis funk throwback with synth squiggles, liquid bass grooves and marbled guitar stabs. Accordingly, “Donezo” certainly echoes Prince’s sassiest singing flourishes, although the myriad voices popping in and out of the mix give the song a decidedly playful feel.
As the title implies, the song is one extended kiss-off to a relationship that’s coming to an end. But although on paper the chorus seems downtrodden (“I know we’re finished/Our time is running out/I know you meant it/When you said our love was done”), there’s a celebratory tone to its execution that lightens the mood. And Rashad’s vocal conviction — as heard on a rapping bridge in which he shape-shifts between rhymes with effortless agility — ensures “Donezo” is much more about embracing new beginnings than it is wallowing in sad endings.
There are no local dates for Boulevards at the moment, but check out his cover of Eddie Murphy's 1985 hit single "Party All The Time" below.
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