Songs such as "Heavy Metal", and the self titled track "Mama's Mustache" display the groups eclectic yet relatable style. At first blush, it’s rather easy to blow off Mama’s Mustache — a duo consisting of super producer David “Mr. DJ” Sheats and Jeffery “Jeff B” Bowden — as a sort of come-hither, schmaltzy duo attempting to raise an eyebrow or two. But dig deeper and you’ll likely be proven wrong. “Even before you know what Mama’s Mustache means, the name itself makes you smile,” says Mr.
DJ, the youngest cousin of legendary Organized Noise producer Rico Wade. “Jeff and I had the name of the group before we had the meaning.” So what exactly does Mama’s Mustache mean? “’Mama’ means every woman or every lady. ‘Mustache’ means a man, hence ‘mama's mustache,’” Jeff explains. “Every woman's man, or every lady’s boyfriend.” Mama’s Mustache is also a musical gateway into shared influences of funk, soul, rock and hip-hop.
Formed in 2008, Mama’s Mustache serves as an artistic coming-out-party for two-time Grammy winning sound wizard Mr. DJ, who is best known for making up one-third of the Outkast production trio Earthtone III and founding the Atlanta-based record company Camp David. DJ, who produced the hit tracks, “Ms. Jackson” (Outkast, 1999), “Black Ice” (Goodie Mob, 1998), “B.O.B.” (Outkast, 2000) and “A.D.I.D.A.S.” (Killer Mike, 2003) to name a few, hooked up with 31-year-old Jeff B — his future musical muse — in 2003.
“Funny thing is, me and DJ grew up around the same area, went to the same school, but we never really knew each other,” says Jeff, who graduated from Benjamin Banneker high school in the College Park section of Atlanta. The two officially met at a friend’s get-together in Atlanta and bonded over a friendly card game. “DJ just so happened had a beat CD on him,” Jeff remembers, “and I ended up going over to his house later on. The first time I went over there, we did a song.
It was a definite chemistry there.” A self-proclaimed socialite during this time, Jeff B was already highly-regarded around the city as a member of the successful ’90s R&B quartet Co-Ed, whose single “Roll With Me” — which featured a then widely unknown rapper named T.I. — grew into the most played independent record on Atlanta’s urban radio stations. Jeff eventually went on to work as a producer and songwriter for artists ranging from Destiny’s Child to Paris Hilton. After developing a solid kinship, the Jeff became DJ’s trusted production partner, lacing tracks such as the hit song “And I Love You” off Rich Boy’s eponymous debut album and “Changes” off Common’s 2008 effort Universal Mind Control.
Then one day, the two decided to form their own group in an organically conceived process. “Mama’s Mustache was more like a spiritual kind of movement,” DJ explains. But beyond spiritual, Mama’s Mustache speaks to current conditions in a dreary climate of financial distress and global worry. Described as a “pain pill,” the self-titled debut is a witty combination of singing and rhyming about intricate issues from relationships, to job-hunting, to letting your hair hang down.
The album is produced and performed entirely by DJ and Jeff. “DJ and I both pulled our rappers hat out,” Jeff says. “And rapping is something I never really considered. But if all the rappers are singing now, maybe it’s time for all the singers to start rapping.” And unlike their highly-successful peers Gnarls Barkley, Mama’s Mustache has no gimmick or marketing plan.
“Onstage, we’re going to look like how you see us everyday,” DJ says. “You’re going to be able to really relate to us through the music. You might see me playing the congas at live shows, the bells, and then Jeff might jump on the keys and start singing, or I might do the moonwalk.” Their first single, “Heavy Metal,” is a fiery, bass heavy pop track that gushes bluntly over the sensuality of a dime piece. The song’s contagious hook, “So fly!” could very well be talking about the song itself.
But for Mama’s Mustache, it could be talking about anything that the listener can sonically grab hold to. “A collaboration of feelings, thoughts, emotions, moments,” Jeff says. “Our perspective of life.” And that perspective beautifully creates an almost perfect duo. Read more on Last.fm.
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