No need to schedule an appointment, Dr. Stokley is now taking patients. After releasing three songs in the past few weeks, Dudley Perkins drops his first solo album in four years (although he’s released a few in the meantime under the alias of Declaime, and some with his life partner under the title D&G) Dr. Stokley reminds us why he is the prescriber of all things funk. Teaming up with Madlib and Kankick, as well as his partner Georgia Anne Muldrow, Dudley Perkins creates some psychedelic sounds that makes you want to light up a joint and kick back to the funky rhythms and arrhythmic hip hop vocals. Georgia Anne produces the majority of the tracks, which remain loyal to the “ode to the ’70s” fonk sound that have kept them in the proverbial left field of music for most of their career.
One of the main themes of this album is that of tenure. Perkins has been at this a long time (five albums under his God-given name, 10 under the moniker Declaime, plus another four in tandem with his life partner Muldrow) and he makes you aware of this throughout the album in songs such as “Geriatrics” and “Electric Shock”, claiming that “I’ve got 15 records; that should be a record”. For many of the tracks, Perkins carries the chip of an underappreciated veteran on his shoulder; calling out the weaker, mainstream musicians that think they’re making art. But when he’s not talking about the irrelevant artist or standing on his politico soapbox, he’s preaching of the importance of the natural healers: weed and music.
Perkins’ album ends with the last segment defending holistic medicine, specifically regarding music as a key source to find harmony not only in the body, but also outside the personal realm. When you first hear the audio clips speaking of alternative healing scattered throughout the album, you would assume the only healing he is interested in is rooted in the ground. Even Perkins’ lackluster skit in which his friend reveals a Jack and the beanstalk-sized weed plant shows the importance of marijuana to Dr. Stokley. But as the album progresses, it’s revealed that more than weed, music is what Dudley considers the ultimate rehabilitator and the source of harmony. The “Outro” finalizes this notion, solely consisting of an uncredited proponent of holistic healing, claiming that “intention plus vibration is manifestation” and this is evident in Perkins’ work.
Dudley Perkins doesn’t give a shit about following the rhythm of a beat. He delivers his words however he deems acceptable and he does this out of admiration not only for the artists creating the musical riffs, but also for the art of music in itself and the premise behind harmony. Dudley creates an abstract, offbeat flow that goes against the grain of the funkadelic tracks to show his audience that, like the body, two completely different vibrations can convene to create a potent piece of art. His disregard for the rhythm on each track not only highlights his poetic pace, but also transcends the retro-based beats into their own entity. He doesn’t want to take the spotlight away from the producers, but it creates the holistic approach that can be found throughout the entire album.
3.5 out of 5
You can buy Dr. Stokley on Amazon.