Back in June, a group called Cocaine 80s appeared out of thin air with no prior context, press or background. The group released their debut project, “The Pursuit EP,” and told fans to check the credits. After “paying” with a tweet that unlocked a download of the free EP, I opened the credits in the zip file only to find many recognizable names.
Here are a few of the big names associated with Cocaine 80s: The leader of the group is No I.D., who is a producer for Kanye West, Jay-Z, Common and many more. Then, Common himself makes an appearance on one song on each of the two EPs. The other big name is the group’s lead singer and multi-platinum songwriter, James Fauntleroy. While many of you have probably never heard his name, he is likely responsible for one of, if not many, of your favorite pop songs over the past few years. His career exploded when he co-wrote Jordin Sparks’ “No Air” back in 2008. Since then he has written songs for Britney Spears, Rihanna, Chris Brown and tons of other stars.
Last Friday, Oct. 21, the group again surprised the music industry with the release of their follow-up EP, “Ghost Lady.” With Fauntleroy as lead singer, No I.D. producing, and a guest feature from Common, Cocaine 80s again produced a phenomenal project. On each song, James Fauntleroy lets his presence be known with stacked and layered vocals, impressive harmonies and incredible attention to detail, both in his writing and singing. Add that to production from the legendary No I.D. and you’ve got a match made in heaven.
“Ghost Lady” tells the story of a love that has died and reminisces on the collapse of the relationship. The production of the album helps narrate the stories Fauntleroy tells with his incredible vocal arrangements done by Makeba Riddick, who has also worked for Rihanna and Beyonce. On “Six Feet Over,” Fauntleroy says, “I’m living, but my heart still says in memory of your love girl.” This song also features a great verse from Common in which he proclaims, “Let’s grab a cab and go to the underground spot. I’m fresh as hell. I made the underground hot.”
On “The Pursuit EP,” Cocaine 80s had a song called “Not No More,” which was one of the standout tracks of the project. On “Ghost Lady” the group remade the song with new production, expanded vocals and a much larger sound. The chorus of the song is: “Here lies her love for me. Her love was kind but not no more. Even toward the end, so full of life, but not no more.”
The EP comes to a close with “The Legend of the Heart.” “I was once afraid of the dark, but now I’m just a shadow of that perfect love of ours. And I was once a lover’s work of art, but now I’m just a memory, the legend of the heart,” Fauntleroy says.
With “Ghost Lady,” Cocaine 80s continue to add to their already unique and impressive sound. With James Fauntleroy and No I.D. leading the way, this group will continue to grow and hopefully produce more content at a high level.