Yasiin Gaye is back with his first single (for those who got to class late, Marvin Gaye x Yasiin Bey = Genius Concept Album from Amerigo Gazaway of Fela Soul & Bizarre Tribe fame) from the highly anticipated Soul Mates project. The very first single “Anna’s Love Song” is of course a tribute to the late Anna Gordy Gaye–songwriter, elder sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy and muse to Marvin, fusing “Anna’s Song” with Mos Def‘s “Love” to arrive at a whole new place. As Amerigo exlpains:
“Anna Gordy Gaye played an enormous role in Marvin’s life and inspired some of his greatest music. And while their relationship may have been a troubled one, it still remains one of the most important love stories of our time. This song is dedicated to their story and to the memory of Anna Gordy Gaye.” –Amerigo Gazaway
An experiment in time travel, this jam session that never was could not, of course, have arrived in a more timely fashion. Anna Gordy Gaye just passed away on January 31st of this year, prompting many tributes and much reminiscence on her life, especially her influence on Marvin. Besides songwriting credits on his breakout album What’s Going On, Marvin’s muse continued to inspire him even in heartbreak, as his album Here My Dear shows. Here My Dear famously began as an attempt at self-sabotage, motivated by a bitter divorce settlement between the two which ensured that royalties earned by Gaye’s music would be remitted to Anna. As the brilliant vocal sample chops Amerigo juxtaposes here (don’t want to ruin the pleasure, but through deft use of interview clips, Mos and Marvin almost seem to be in literal dialogue with each other by the end of this song) indicate however, self-sabotage became a musical self-reflection that still resonates as Gaye’s best work. A fitting tribute to Anna–and a perfect soundbed for Yasiin’s meandering melodic freestyle “Love.” Without further ado…Everybody groove to the music and do what you like to by streaming “Anna’s Love Song” below. Grab the download from bandcamp and look for the whole Yasiin Gaye project to drop on February 25th.