Image Credit: Chris Hakkens (https://www.flickr.com/photos/chris_hakkens/5854133048/in/set-72157626883004843/), CC BY-SA 2.0
Aloe Blacc (born Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III; January 7, 1979 is an American soul singer, rapper and musician. He is married to Australian rapper Maya Jupiter. Blacc was born in Orange County, California to Panamanian parents. He began his music career in 1995 as a rapper in the hip hop duo Emanon with producer Exile. By the late 1990s, Blacc was part of the duo Emanon and joined the group Lootpack on tour in Europe. The duo released six albums. This led to Blacc working with the French Jazz group Jazz Liberatorz. He released an album at the end of the 1990s. In 2003, Blacc signed with Stones Throw Records and began a solo career. On July 11, 2006, he released his first LP album, Shine Through, on CD, vinyl record and online (on the Stones Throw website). He then toured across Europe and the U.S. with Emanon, while working on his second solo album. In 2009, Blacc collaborated with the Japanese hip hop producer Cradle. They called themselves Bee. In 2010, Blacc released his second album, Good Things, on Stones Throw records. The album was produced by Jeff Dynamite and Leon Michels for Truth & Soul Productions. Blacc was signed by Matthew Larkin for the charity album Red Hot + Rio 2, a follow-up to the 1996 Red Hot + Rio. Proceeds from the sales were donated to raise awareness and money to fight AIDS/HIV and related health and social issues. In 2011, Kenneth Bager used Aloe Blacc on "The Sound of Swing, Pt. 2 (Oh Na Na)" co-written by Thomas Troelsen. In summer 2011, Blacc performed on the main stages at major festivals such as Glastonbury and The Falls Festival in Australia with his primary touring band The Grand Scheme. "I Need a Dollar" was the opening title track on the HBO series, How to Make It in America. In 2012 he appeared at the renowned North Sea Jazz festival in Rotterdam, Lollapalooza in Chicago, and Osheaga in Montreal. In March 2013, Aloe Blacc was named one of Fuse TV's 30 must-see artists at SXSW.
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What was one of the most important factors in my transition from hiphop to being a singer?