Genre: Hip hop, Rap
Joe Black (Joe Kugler) is a rap artist from Cleveland, Tennessee, now living in Chattanooga. Having grown up in Cleveland, with baseball as his long-time obsession, he left high school to play short-stop at Carson-Newman University for 2 years. However, with a professional career seeming unlikely, and having for years harbored dreams of a career as a rap artist, Black committed himself fully to his music. The latest fruits of this commitment are reflected in his self-titled album, JOE BLACK (7 tracks), produced by Billboard and Stellar Award winner J. Rhodes. Rhodes, who has produced for artists like The Game, Talib Kweli, and Lecrae, says of Black: “There is nothing like working with an artist that has that IT factor.”
As an artist, Black is a complex, articulate lyricist whose raps are as much education as inspiration and whose music brings into clear and penetrating expression the profound reflections of a savvy cultural critic. As much in tune with the history of politics as the history of rap, his lyrics are at once philosophically profound and playfully poetic, personally grounding and culturally ground-breaking. In the span of one song, and sometimes a few fleeting seconds, you are both lost and found, confounded and clarified, amused and amazed.
By the subtle combination of the personal details of an ordinary southerner and much broader cultural reflections, the listener is drawn again and again into Black’s multifaceted world where the listener is confounded by echoes of Eminem’s clever psychological analysis and grounded by reminiscences of Tupac’s social concern.
And the greatest gift Black has to offer, a gift which has never sounded so good, is perspective.