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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, September 8, 2002

'The Lolo Popolo' may stir debate but could become signature song

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

An old piece by an African-American singer-composer finally comes to life. Will it stir up a fuss?

A compilation of more Jawaiian, reggae and urban sounds plays like a something-for-everyone jukebox.

Come listen to this week's CD finds.

• • •

"The Lolo Popolo"

Artist: Hutchi Boy-E.
Label: Skrap Yard Records SYR 2003.
Genre: Urban contemporary.
Distinguishing notes: The title song — the key vocal in a largely instrumental fill-in menu — could be potentially offensive, but Hutchi Boy-E, who is African America, acknowledges the "popolo" term as rightfully descriptive, derived from local usage years ago when Hawaiians deemed Caucasians "haole," and blacks "popolo," after the dark popolo berries. The reggae tune, a Hutchi Boy-E original that's12 years old, is somewhat biographical, taking on a humorous posture in the performer's first brush with manapua ("Inside it was red ... I can't eat it 'cause it's red then it ain't dead") and his Waikiki adventures ("Everybody's trying to get black like me").
The outlook: A well-intentioned novelty song, a prelude of Hutch Boy-E's full CD that's due in a year, has an infectious refrain.
Our take: Special handling could make this one a signature for the singer-composer.

"Hutchi Boy-E" by Lolo Popolo. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.

• • •

"Hawaiian Style 2"

Artists: Various, a total of 18 ranging from soloists to groups.
Label: Neos Productions VO6.
Genre: Contemporary Hawaiian, Jawaiian, island rhythms, urban.
Distinguishing notes: A quickie look at contemporary artistry, each one a keepsake trinket on this tuneful bracelet. Best bets: Ho'onua's "Koa Tree," Bruddah Waltah's "Sweet Lady of Waiahole," Justin's "Never Forget Where I'm From," Ka'ala Boys' "Backyard Kanikapila," Junior Maile's "Only My Island Girl," Marty Dread's "Another Day in Paradise," Tony Solis and Norm's "Rubber Slipper" and The Mana'o Company's "Rock Me."
The outlook: Easy to appreciate sampler of diverse sounds by local favorites; a few tracks are new.
Our take: Like a jukebox, with an array of songs to suit every mood.

"Ho'onu'a" by Koa Tree. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.