Hawk Rising releases his latest single “Windy City” featuring Skatterman, which is a testament to the growth and further sophistication this artist has undergone since I first heard him in 2014. The new track pushes Eric “Hawk” and his alter ego Hawk Rising into the stratosphere of party-rocking, club-banging, and heart-thrilling funk. We might consider this release as his postgraduate work. Where does an artist go after mastering his craft? Does he rest on his laurels? Does he retreat into self-parody? No. Hawk Rising has pushed forward into yet newer levels of song craft and body moving music that is respectfully indebted to its noble inspirations while still being fully contemporary.
This was once the territory of legends like Parliament, George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, before a whole lot of shallow genres came along to try and steal the Saturday night crown. But what goes around, comes around, and Hawk Rising, is yet another one of today’s artists paying attention to the all-strutting, libidinous funk that drove the 70’s wild. Technically, “Windy City” is a living, breathing testament to Hawk’s resourcefulness. He has grown quite aware of the things he does really well, and just does it!
“Windy City” is a precision-targeted funk missile, loaded with blasting horns, shimmering keys and big hand-clapping singalong choruses. Written and arranged by Eric King, and Produced by Larry Elyea and C. Alexander, their manifesto is clear: bring classic funk back from the dead.
On the other hand, the song is so catchy and so addictive it’s easy for casual listeners to click the repeat button and forget what genre they’re bouncing to. Hawk Rising and Skatterman are clearly having a blast on “Windy City”. Their performances are fun-filled and dynamic. It’s not hard to imagine this getting an enthusiastic response from club goers on the dance floor. This is funk for the 21st century.
When you hear a really fantastic track, it’s not always easy to parse who’s primarily responsible for the triumph. Such was the case last year “Windy City”. Is it the strength of songwriting? Is it the sheen of the production? Or is it the nerve of Hawk Rising’s pipes tying it all together? The truth is, it’s a synthesis of all those elements that separates this from the rest of the retro brigades.
Hawk Rising now has over 1,400 shows in his professional resume as performer, producer, booking agent and road manager. With influences ranging from Prince to Marvin Gaye, George Clinton, Funkadelic, James Brown, Muddy Waters, BB King, Sam Cooke, Aerosmith, and Daft Punk, to Rakim and Ice Cube, Hawk never shies away from any opportunities.
He has come full circle in his musical maturity and landed up at his roots. He says, he has now found his groove and a new desire to perform. Currently working on his upcoming album, “Cover Me” – a blend of originals and obscure covers – Hawk Rising is braced to cultivate one of the most authentic sounds in urban music!
Leroy “Top Daawg” Temple
Talon Music Group