Nathaniel Kimble (21st Century)

Daddy B. Nice's #39 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Nathaniel Kimble (21st Century) by Daddy B. Nice
 



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"Can You Bagg It Up"

Nathaniel Kimble (21st Century)

Composed by Nathaniel Kimble


Note: Nathaniel Kimble also appears on Daddy B. Nice's original Top 100 Southern Soul Artists (90's-00's). The "21st Century" after Nathaniel Kimble's name in the headline is to distinguish his artist-guide entries on this page from his artist-guide page on Daddy B. Nice's original chart.

*************

Surely one of the most recognizable rhythmic signatures in contemporary Southern Soul, Nathaniel Kimble's "Can You Bagg It Up" came out at the beginning of the new century, and one measure of Southern Soul's evolution in the dozen years since its release is the disappearance of the original cover art: Nathaniel stripped to the waist in an old pair of jeans, standing behind a bent-over, sweet young smiling woman in a Jackie Nealesque pose, patiently waiting for Nathaniel to dock behind her doggy-style.

You can see the old cover art in the original posting of the album Can You Bagg It Up in All Music Guide.

The new cover art, a spiffed-up picture of Nathaniel, can be seen in the current Amazon.com posting of Can You Bagg It Up.

Your Daddy B. Nice prefers the former in all its tawdry glory with the cover art as lustful and lascivious as the song's lyrics, and the participants supremely happy with themselves.

Stanza:

"Here I come,
And there you go.
Don't leave me, babe,
'Cause I want some more.

Give me your love,
I'm gonna give you mine.
You're gonna have it all
In the nick of time.

I had the front,
Now I want the back.
Give it to me, baby,
Don't cut no slack.

You're giving me love,
But you know it's not enough.
I need to know, baby,
Can you bagg it up?"

Listen to Nathaniel Kimble singing "Can You Bagg It Up" on YouTube while you read.

Bridge:

"I gave you my love,
Now you're giving it back.
You say it's okay,
But it's not what you like.

You want to be hard
And you want to be tough.
I need to know one thing, baby. . ."

Chorus:

"Can you bagg it up?
I can't get enough.
Can you bagg it up?
I can't get enough."

Bare bones in arrangement and production--in fact, self-produced by the young Nathaniel Kimble--the song succeeds in spite of (or maybe because of) its lack of ornament. Imagine a "skiffle" beat propelled by a rubber-ball bass line and a cornet-sounding keyboard hitting the main hook.

At once raw and masterful, Nathaniel Kimble's confident, rooted, no-frills vocals are under-rated. He sounds like he just walked in from a cotton field. There is absolutely no pretense in his voice. The effect is akin to a working guy downing a beer and coming on strong to his plain-spoken woman.

"Can You Bagg It Up" was released not long after the heyday of hiphopper Juvenile's "Back That Ass Up," and it set the bar for Nathaniel Kimble--the "bar" being a close-to-the-source sensuality and realism--and Nathaniel's career in the decade since the appearance of "Can You Bagg It Up" has been largely an ongoing attempt at recapturing the unself-conscious magic of that song and transferring it to other topics and themes.

By my count, Kimble has succeeded splendidly on at least two other songs--"Let Me Live My Life" and "You Make Me Happy"--both rated as five-star tracks in Daddy B. Nice's "Recommended Singles" on the right-hand column of this page.

"Let Me Live My Life," from 2003's Please Don't Go CD, recreates Kimble's knack for contagious rhythms and melodic hooks, coupling it with a message to "player haters."

"Just because I bought me a car,
Riding around town like a movie star.

I'm clean as a pin,
And I'm sharp as a tack.
All the haters,
They just don't like that.

"I work for my money,
I work very hard.
I'm not going to let
Nobody tear me apart."

Listen to Nathaniel Kimble singing "Let Me Live My Life" on YouTube.

You can't go home again--evidently that's a truism in Southern Soul, too. "Let Me Live My Life" contains a pointed reference to Nathaniel Kimble's home town. At the very end of the record, after Kimble's final plea to fans and friends to "Do your thing/ and I'll do mine," and "Let me live my life," he says, "I'm talking about my hometown--Benoit, Mississippi."

"You Make Me Happy," from 2006's I'm Back CD, retrofits Nathaniel Kimble's rhythm-dominated lyricism to a straight-ahead love song, and once again, the elements that make the song special are details that would be out of place, embarrassing, naive or "not cool enough" in other genres.

"I work hard
All day long.
I can't wait
To get home.

You're in the kichen
Cooking collard greens
And cornbread.

When I get through eating,
I want to be breast-fed."

Your Daddy B. Nice knows the "breast-fed" may be shocking, given the context, but "breast-fed" also "makes" the song by virtue of its honesty, originality and vividness. And it's followed immediately by the innocent piece of domesticity:

"When I wake in the morning
And head to work,
You hand me my lunch bag,
And say 'Don't be late.'"

Nathaniel Kimble is the epitome of the country boy, at the opposite end of the rainbow from the hiphop glitz of Atlanta (which, as you'd expect, is a "desert" for southern soul). Nevertheless, he has more soul and melodic invention in his crudely-produced and programmed albums--and specifically, in a song like "You Make Me Happy" --than the latest hits of the million-selling rappers of the day.

The kids, the young'un's--most of them, anyway--won't take to Kimble's music because it's too close to who they are (country/small-town, unpretentious, family-anchored, and they want to be different), leaving this music to us grown-ups who miss that life and who appreciate the vivid taste Kimble gives us in his simple tunes.

--Daddy B. Nice


About Nathaniel Kimble (21st Century)

Nathaniel Kimble was born in Benoit, Mississippi. He began singing in church choirs as a young man and became an avid blues collector as he matured. He began writing his own R&B compositions and self-produced his debut CD, Can You Bagg It Up?, in 2001.

The album's title tune, "Can You Bagg It Up?," was a Southern Soul hit single and quickly became Kimble's signature song. Sheba Potts-Wright covered the song on her 2002 CD, Love Fest, gaining even more airplay and recognition for the tune.

Suzie Q. Records signed Kimble to a contract for his follow-up CD, Please Don't Go (2003). Sharon Jones contributed light-hearted background vocals on both discs.

Kimble moved to Mardi Gras Records for the release of his third LP, Better Get Ready (2005). The radio single from the CD, "Let Me Live My Life (Remix)," was up to the quality of "Can You Bagg It Up," and deejays of the Deep South made it a staple of their rotations.

Kimble's fourth album, I'm Back (Kimbarn/Brimstone) was released the following year (2006). The solid set included a distinguished ballad, "You Make Me Happy," that achieved modest success on the chitlin' circuit.

Kimble's fifth CD Sensational, appeared in 2008 (Kimbarn), notching radio singles with "Tell It" and "I'm Ready."

Kimble's sixth CD, Mama (Kimbarn 2010) was less successful, with little new material, and passed with little notice in 2010.


Song's Transcendent Moment

"You say you went out
And you been to the club.
You had a lot of fun,
Just you and your girls.

You had a few drinks,
And a couple under your belt.
Let's go to bed,
I'm going to make you melt.

Throw it to the left
Throw it to the right
Let's do it, baby
Do it all night."


Tidbits

1.

May 26, 2012:

Nathaniel Kimble selections on YouTube:

Watch line dancers, including lady with cane, dancing to Nathaniel Kimble's "Can You Bagg It Up" on YouTube. (122,000 views! But cuts off after a minute and a half.)

Listen to Nathaniel Kimble singing "Can You Bagg It Up" on YouTube.

Listen to Nathaniel Kimble singing "Please Don't Go" on YouTube.

Listen to Nathaniel Kimble singing "Let Me Make It Right" on YouTube.

Listen to Nathaniel Kimble singing "Back In The Streets" on YouTube.

Listen to Nathaniel Kimble singing "Let Me Live My Life" on YouTube.

Listen to Nathaniel Kimble singing "Where Do You Want Me To Put It" on YouTube.

Listen to Nathaniel Kimble singing "Full Of That Juice" on YouTube.

Listen to Nathaniel Kimble singing "Feel Like Making Love" on YouTube.


If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you liked Clarence Carter's "Strokin,'" you'll love Nathaniel Kimble's "Can You Bagg It Up."


Honorary "B" Side

"You Make Me Happy"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Can You Bagg It Up by Nathaniel  Kimble (21st Century)
Can You Bagg It Up


CD: Can You Bagg It Up
Label: Nathaniel Kimble

Sample or Buy
Can You Bagg It Up


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy You Make Me Happy by Nathaniel  Kimble (21st Century)
You Make Me Happy


CD: I'm Back
Label: Kimbarn/Brimstone

Sample or Buy
I'm Back


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Let Me Live My Life by Nathaniel  Kimble (21st Century)
Let Me Live My Life


CD: Please Don't Go
Label: Suzie Q

Sample or Buy
Please Don't Go


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy 2 Steps by Nathaniel  Kimble (21st Century)
2 Steps


CD: Sensational
Label: Kimbarn

Sample or Buy
Sensational


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy I'm Ready by Nathaniel  Kimble (21st Century)
I'm Ready


CD: Sensational
Label: Kimbarn

Sample or Buy
Sensational


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Ride The Brown Horse by Nathaniel  Kimble (21st Century)
Ride The Brown Horse


CD: Please Don't Go
Label: Suzie Q

Sample or Buy
Please Don't Go


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Sexy Lady by Nathaniel  Kimble (21st Century)
Sexy Lady


CD: Can You Bagg It Up
Label: Nathaniel Kimble

Sample or Buy
Can You Bagg It Up


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Tell It by Nathaniel  Kimble (21st Century)
Tell It


CD: Sensational
Label: Kimbarn

Sample or Buy
Sensational


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy You Are The One by Nathaniel  Kimble (21st Century)
You Are The One


CD: I'm Back
Label: Kimbarn/Brimstone

Sample or Buy
I'm Back


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Back In The Streets by Nathaniel  Kimble (21st Century)
Back In The Streets


CD: I'm Back
Label: Kimbarn/Brimstone

Sample or Buy
I'm Back


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Ghetto Club by Nathaniel  Kimble (21st Century)
Ghetto Club


CD: Please Don't Go
Label: Suzie Q

Sample or Buy
Please Don't Go


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy I'm Lonely by Nathaniel  Kimble (21st Century)
I'm Lonely


CD: Better Get Ready
Label: Mardi Gras

Sample or Buy
Better Get Ready


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Something Real Good by Nathaniel  Kimble (21st Century)
Something Real Good


CD: Sensational
Label: Kimbarn

Sample or Buy
Sensational


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