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ALEX CHADWICK, host:

DAY TO DAY music contributors listen to vast stacks of CDs. They download like crazy for this job. It really helps if you're a music junkie. Just ask Derek Rath.

DEREK RATH: Okay, I confess. Music is a drug, and I'm addicted. But the trouble of making a living out of your habit is this: A yard arm of CDs to get through for a fix. Take this one, the Pimps of Joytime, probably some more third-rate rap. Still, I listen to it. Here it goes.

(Soundbite of music)

RATH: Well, there's a surprise. This is funky. I need to talk to these guys to find out where they're coming from.

Mr. BRIAN J. (Member, Pimps of Joytime): Hello, Derek.

RATH: Who's this?

Mr. J.: This is the Pimps Of Joytime. This is Brian J.

Mr. CHAUNCEY YEARWOOD (Member, Pimps of Joytime): And this is Chauncey.

RATH: "High Steppin'" has it all. Soul, funk, punk, Afro-beat, rap. I've not heard anything quite like this. How can I describe it?

Mr. J.: That's the modern sound, when all those lines and genres get blurred. Anything can be soul - rock 'n' roll, punk. It's all soul to me, if it's soulful.

(Soundbite of music)

RATH: Hmm, let's try another track. This one, "Long Ride."

(Soundbite of the song, "Long Ride")

RATH: What? Sitar? John Lee Hooker? Funk? Why?

Mr. J.: It's just an aesthetic thing, like an artist painting a painting, you know? You ask - yo, why did you put that orange streak on that painting? You're just, like, I don't know, but I felt like it.

(Soundbite of song, "Long Ride")

RATH: The Pimps of Joytime are coming from New Orleans and Brooklyn. That explains a lot: Big Easy Second Line meets the streets of New York City. Here's "H2O." It's got Cyril Neville from the Neville Brothers on it. How did they get him?

Mr. J.: He was in Austin because his house got destroyed in the flood by Katrina. So I went to Austin, you know, stayed at a Motel 6. I busted out my computer, put the track together, and went to his house, and we just did it. It's funky, and that was that.

(Soundbite of song, "H20")

RATH: All right. Let's try "Bonita."

(Soundbite of song, "Bonita")

RATH: Yeah, yeah, I get it. The New Orleans connection to the Caribbean with some Brazilian overtones. It's all making sense, I think.

Mr. J.: Well, that's another Brooklyn thing.

Mr. YEARWOOD: Not to mention, if you look at New Orleans and the Caribbean influence there, the Latin music is all inside of that too, so it really all overlaps. And that's what we're trying to show in our music.

RATH: Wow. Listen to this, "My Gold."

(Soundbite of song, "My Gold")

RATH: West Africa channels Curtis Mayfield. Nice. Soul roots.

Mr. YEARWOOD: And we just keep digging deeper into the roots of funk, as they say, and soul, which is what we strive to give off as musicians, and where we try to draw from. Soul, baby.

Mr. J.: Well, at the end of the day I hope it just becomes one big thing, big gumbo, a stew of styles.

RATH: Well, Pimps of Joytime, you certainly took care of my jones, for today. Cheers.

Mr. J.: Cheers.

RATH: All right. Bye.

(Soundbite of music)

CHADWICK: That was independent producer Derek Rath and we're listening to the Pimps of Joytime's new album, "High Steppin'." And if you'd like to get your hit of the Pimps, you can find several songs and a photo at our new music Web site, that's npr.org/music.

(Soundbite of music)

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