The Foreign Exchange played the Middle East Downstairs last night to a very happy audience with extreme allure generated by their sultry sound and message of love. The core of the band: North Carolinian emcee Phonte (Little Brother) and the R&B and hip hop producer from the Netherlands, Nicolay. This power duo was joined by Zo – the Detroit born R&B artist with a following in his own right, a killer rhythm section and Jeanne Jolly and Carmen Rodgers on backing vocals.
Most of the night Phonte Coleman was working a theme: music is healing, and the church was this house and this house was the following. Can I get an Amen? Interestingly, they also did round robins of the same songs over and over but Phonte also pulled out a few classic 90s raps to Zo and Carmen’s delight. Phonte was very in sync with the concerns of the youthful Boston audience, ie, college kids in debt to Salle Mae – he told us to fuck that bitch – just forget about her and receive your healing through the music.
“This is not just music, this is ministry,” Phonte said.
When it is your time to receive whatever it is that you seek, won’t he do it? If you’re patient and let it be, he will do it for you. This was the message of the show. Slow down, love, be patient and let the music heal you. At the very end, as they left the stage Phonte gave us a directive: when someone asks you how was The Foreign Exchange show? You say – “the show was goddamn, goddamn.” And so it was.
Love In Flying Colors in stores now!