Aloe Blacc on How He Got His Name, Being Inspired by Dr. Dre
After Ryan referred to him as Aloe B., the singer laughed, “It’s been years since someone called me Aloe B.– thats my hip-hop name! My original name is Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III.”
So how’d he go from that to Aloe Blacc?
“As a hip-hop enthusiast starting really young, I wanted to choose a name that described my rhyme style and I’m a smooth rapper, so I chose Aloe to represent smooth, but it followed me into my singing career, which was sort of accidental,” he explains.
What wasn’t accidental though was his desire to impress Dr. Dre. Aloe reveals that he wrote “The Man” because of the rapper.
“I had a meeting with Dr.Dre and he had heard ‘I Need A Dollar’ and was a fan of my voice and was interested in possibly working together. But when we met, he told me that he’d liked to hear me come with some stronger themes. And I thought, ‘Oh okay, Well I need to write a song that will make Dre sing while he’s rolling down the street’ … and I figured this is the right theme.”
The triumphant jam also samples Elton John‘s “Your Song,” which Aloe says he wanted to experiment with after realizing Elton’s been open to other artists sampling his classics.
“I noticed in the past he’s done songs that were used or alluded to, let’s say like Mary J. Blige, I think she used ‘Bennie and the Jets’ in one of her songs, so I knew he wasn’t too restrictive with things like this, so I figured I’d try it.”
Catch Aloe Blacc when he performs at the 2014 Kids’ Choice Awards on March 29 at 8/7c on Nickelodeon and download his new album Lift Your Spirit on iTunes now here.