The Roots & Friends Set To Play Hot 97’s Summer Jam 2014

Karas Lamb Karas Lamb writes and digs for tunes you haven’t heard…
The Roots Are Slated To Play Hot 97's Summer Jam 2014 On June 1st At The MetLife Stadium In East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Roots Are Slated To Play Hot 97's Summer Jam 2014 On June 1st At The MetLife Stadium In East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Roots have been announced as part of the monster lineup for Summer Jam 2014 – Hot 97‘s annual hip-hop fest at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ – joining a crazy list of performers including Nas, 50 Cent, Action Bronson, Ty Dolla $ign, Wiz Khalifa, Bunji Garlin, Mack Wilds, Nicki Minaj and more. Hot 97 and Def Jam both tweeted the announcement earlier today:

 

 

The concert billed as the “hottest event of the summer” will feature The Roots and friends, though there’s been no word yet as to who will be joining The Legendary live onstage. If you know anything about The Roots, you should know to expect a bunch of surprises once they hit the stage. Check the footage below to watch the Hot 97 crew announce the lineup for Summer Jam 2014. Purchase tickets for the event via Ticketmaster. Stay tuned for more as Summer Jam 2014 approaches. Catch The Roots rocking the house on June 1st!

Live streaming video by Ustream

IAMNOBODI Picks Up The Pace On D’angelo – “Brown Sugar” Remix

zo Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers…
IAMNOBODI Picks Up The Pace On D'angelo's "Brown Sugar"

IAMNOBODI Picks Up The Pace On D'angelo's "Brown Sugar"

D’angelo‘s “Brown Sugar” got the rework treatment from the ever enigmatic producer extraordinaire IAMNOBODI, picking up the pace on the iconic introductory groove to one of our great generals. Gone is any semblance of acoustic instrumentation, swapped out for IAMNOBODI’s glistening 8-bit synth work and swinging drums, tapping into some knee deep kicks and air-tight snares. Dare I say, had Dilla’s hands ever had the pleasure of gracing this early gem, it might come out something lie this. But thats just this writer’s take. Listen to this swinging synth-laden rework of D’s “Brown Sugar” below and let us know how it hits ya.

Jesse Boykins III Drops New Single “Live In Me” + ‘Love Apparatus’ Album Art & Tracklist

zurilyric have you ever seen a mermaid with legs?
Jesse Boykins III new LP

Jesse Boykins III releases new track from LP

Jesse Boykins III has been exploring the world as a romantic for a few years now, and has clearly developed an intimate understanding of how love operates as a universal law. Applying his romanticism to more than just interpersonal relationships, Boykins has been able to win us over by creating work that speaks directly to the soul (girls swoon over Boykins during his live performances as he dances and flips his blowout – his signature gesture). The nomadic soul-man has been collaborating (almost as long as we’ve been waiting for the new album) with well-rounded producer Machinedrum on his forthcoming LP Love ApparatusIn an interview with Okayplayer some three years back, Boykins and Machinedrum talked about their natural workflow and blending their widespread tastes.

Today Boykins dropped another track from the long-awaited LP entitled “Live In Me.”Produced by Machinedrum, “Live In Me” (which follows the releases of “Plain” and “Show Me Who You Are”) continues Boykins’ endless search for love. The elongated groove that focuses on sex turned spiritual begins with interesting dialogue that sets up the chorus line “I’ve been searching for / and some day I will find you and you shall live in me.” In the dialogue, the speaker poses the question “balance or climax?” the answer is “always balance… through balance you can have climax.”  Playing with contrasting themes like balance and climax or beauty and danger is something that the soulful singer has applied to his music philosophy. The highly-anticipated 13 track LP Love Apparatus features collaborations with Phonte from The Foreign Exchange and Theophilus London and is now set to drop on April 22nd.  Along with the new single, Boykins has also released the album artwork which he describes as “a representation of balance. The balance between the artistic mind and what the world takes from the art that is created.” Check out the tracklist and album artwork plus stream “Live In Me” below.

Jesse Boykins III Love Apparatus Cover Art

Love Apparatus Tracklist:
1. GreyScale [prod. Machinedrum]
2. B4 The Night Is Thru [prod. Machinedrum]
3. Create Beauty [prod. Chad Beatz | J.Boykins III | Machinedrum]
4. I Wish [prod by Jesse Boykins III]
5. Tell Me [prod. by Machinedrum] ft. Theophilus London
6. Show Me Who You Are [prod. by Machinedrum]
7. Live In Me [prod. by Machinedrum]
8. 4 U 2 B Free [prod by Machinedrum]
9. The Wonder Years [prod. by Machinedrum]
10. Plain [prod. by Machinedrum]
11. A Matter Of The Heart [prod. by Hadyn & J.Boykins III] ft. Phonte
12. 4 Ever No More [prod. by Machinedrum]
13. Make Believe [prod. by Machinedrum]
14. Heavenly Eyes [prod by Jesse Boykins III]

RZA Says Multi-Million Offers Have Already Come In For Wu-Tang Clan’s Secret ‘1 of 1’ LP

Wu-Tang Reveals Plans To Release Just One Copy Of Their Secret Album (1 of 1)

Wu-Tang Reveals Plans To Release Just One Copy Of Their Secret Album (1 of 1)

UPDATE: RZA has relayed to Billboard magazine that multiple multi-million dollar offers have already come in for the Wu-Tang Clan‘s secret ‘1 of 1’ album. Speaking via phone from Los Angeles Tuesday, The Abbot told Billboard:

“Offers came in at $2 million, somebody offered $5 million yesterday. I’ve been getting a lot of emails: some from people I know, some from people I don’t know, and they’re also emailing other members of my organization….So far, $5 million is the biggest number….I don’t know how to measure it, but it gives us an idea that what we’re doing is being understood by some. And there are some good peers of mine also, who are very high-ranking in the film business and the music business,  sending me a lot of good will. It’s been real positive.”

Although we have no doubt that RZA is flossing at the very highest levels of the international playboy/man of mystery/sensei business, we have to raise an eyebrow at any reports of multimillion dollar bids from “somebody.” We’ve often noted that whenever we hear artists playing for change on the subway, “somebody” always put US$5.00 in the pot to get shit started. Real or reputed, I am pretty confident that this secret Wu project will in fact attract a worthy buyer and find it’s way into a museum near you (or possibly into a deep dark vault owned by a real life Mr. Burns). Either way, just the fact that the Wu are aiming for the mountaintop has introduced a very refreshing spin on the super-luxury artworld tropes that are rampant in this current throne-watching musical landscape. Stay tuned, Wu-believers…!

———

The Wu-Tang Clan has revealed a scheme to release one copy (that’s right, just one) of The Wu: Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, a double album they’ve apparently been working on in secret over the past few years. The project is mainly produced by Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh, working out of a secret Wu-compound on the outskirts of Marrakech, Morocco, in the shadow of the Atlas Mountains (true story, we couldn’t make this shit up). In a move set to redefine the line between fine-art and commercially viable music (turns out those dudes on The Throne aren’t the only ones who have been taking cues from the lavish art world) it will be packaged in a handcrafted nickel and steel box designed by British-Moroccan artist Yahya, who has been commissioned by royal families across the globe for his work. The general idea seems to be that the exclusive “1 of 1” will be chauffeured about to galleries and museums all over the world, in the same fashion as any art exhibit you might have seen, charging between 30 and 50 dollars a pop to listen to. As RZA explained in interview with Forbes magazine:

“We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of [modern] music.  We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king.”

The overarching purpose of the singular release seems to be an effort to realign societal conceptions of what fine art is with the music world, assuming of course, that the two live on opposite ends of the creative spectrum, or even two entirely separate realms all together. However, this writer finds it awfully difficult to imagine that one album–that no one has known about until this point– that’s laying in a metal-box somewhere in Morocco is enough to merge these two worlds into one. Especially if only a fistful of people throughout the entire world have the opportunity to listen to it. After all, even when a Basquiat sells for seven figures, the purchasing party isn’t the only one to ever lay eyes on it. The image is one that thousands of eyes have likely seen and the sheer weight of it is what gives it the hefty price-tag. And the entire business model seems to rest on a fairly risky premise. As Cilvaringz himself point’ out: “One leak of this thing nullifies the entire concept.” –which is why the singular album is housed inside a vault

We’ll see how Wu’s venture into the realm of the gallery plays out, but in the meantime we can still look forward to their upcoming 20th anniversary release A Better Tomorrow, which is set to be released this summer.  Meanwhile back at the monastery, we’ll keep you posted as any news about potential buyers develops, whether they be megarich individuals or museums. This is obviously only the first chapter in the saga of the Clan-dora’s box, so stay tuned Wu believers. Until then…

>>>Read More (via Forbes)

Big Boi x Wings x Little Dragon x Kelly Rowland – “Mrs. Vanderbilt”

zo Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers…
Big Boi x Wings x Little Dragon x Kelly Rowland - "Mrs. Vanderbilt"

Big Boi x Wings x Little Dragon x Kelly Rowland - "Mrs. Vanderbilt"

Big Boi continues his mash-up steez with an ill flip of Paul McCartney & Wings‘ “Mrs.Vanderbilt” and his own “Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors,” featuring Little Dragon and Kelly Rowland. The latest installment in what has been a 10 week long series, shows BB and producer DJ Dungeoneze straying away from the glitzy textures of past drops and stepping into the tumbleweed funk of Wings’ classic ’73 cut. While we’d love to see all of these wonderful mashes come together in some sort of long-form release, having cross-genre smash to look forward to on a weekly basis ain’t all that bad. Watch the tripped out sci-fi visuals for the latest mash-up from Big Boi’s crew below.

Watch The Official Trailer For ‘The Boondocks’ Season 4

Karas Lamb Karas Lamb writes and digs for tunes you haven’t heard…

Adult Swim Delivers The Official Trailer For The Fourth Season Of 'The Boondocks' Ahead Of The Show's April 21st Debut

The Boondocks trudges forth following Aaron McGruder‘s departure from the popular series with the release of the trailer for the fourth season from Adult Swim. The beloved Freeman family returns to find themselves in a bit of financial trouble after Granddad falls behind on the mortgage payments, threatening a painful end to their stay in idyllic Woodcrest that takes its stylistic cues from 12 Years A Slave and Breaking Bad. The looming money troubles necessitate the return of some of Granddad’s least favorite people, including the always cantankerous Stinkmeaner and the slightly less abrasive Uncle Ruckus. Sounds like Killer Mike is also along for at least a portion of the ride. From the looks of things, Huey and Riley both have something up their sleeves that could potentially save the day…and the house. Only time will which plan prevails. Check the footage below to get a taste of the forthcoming fourth season of The Boondocks ahead of its upcoming debut on Adult Swim. Tune into the premiere of the fourth season on April 21st at 10:30 PM. Stay tuned for more.

D’angelo, Questlove, Mary J. Blige & More Confirmed To Be On Michael Jackson’s Posthumous ‘XSCAPE’ LP

zo Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers…

D'angelo, Questlove & Mary J. Blige To Be Featured On Michael Jackson's Post-homous 'XSCAPE' LP

Michael Jackson‘s recently announced posthumous XSCAPE LP is getting a few more stars to fill out the roster, with Jesse Johnson confirming D’angelo, our faithful leader Questlove, Mary J Blige, D’s right-hand bass-man Pino Palladino, Eric Leeds and his own involvement on a yet to be revealed track off what is already shaping up to be an astral release. You read that correctly. The neo-soul army is strapped and tapped for an album that will be sure to quench your thirst for the funk.

The track has only been referred to as “H** ** *** *********e” by the former axeman for The Time, but we’ve got our suspicions as to whats under their sleeves. With the treasure trove of unreleased material that was found following the legends untimely death and his purchase of some highly coveted back catalogues, we’ve got our suspicions as to what will surface, but until then, let the guessing game begin! Keep it locked for more on this titanic collaboration and whet your pallet with D’angelo, Chuck D and Isaac Hayes‘ rework of Sly’s “Sing A Simple Song” and be sure to peep D’s ill cover of Al Green‘s “I’m So Glad You’re Mine” from his recently released reissue of Live At The Jazz Cafe. Michael Jackson’s XSCAPE is due out May 13th, but you can pre-order via iTunes today. Hop on it.

D'angelo, Questlove, Mary J. Blige & More Confirmed To Be On Michael Jackson's Posthumous 'XSCAPE' LP

Moses Sumney Quietly Leaks New Track “Man On The Moon”

moses-sumney-man-on-the-moon

Moses Sumney photographed by Emilio Guerra
Photo by Emilio Guerra

Moses Sumney conquered our hearts in 2013 with his soul-folk slaying on stage. For months the revolution has been led exclusively off the buzz of live performance. But at last we have studio proof that a Year of the Moses is upon us. The quiet folk-pop ballad “Man On The Moon” is a soft-spoken and stripped-down change in mood from the live DIY orchestral arrangements that characterize his previous tracks “Replaceable” and “Everlasting Sigh.” Nonetheless it’s confirmation of Sumney’s versatility as a guitar-looping heartthrob and ethereal-voiced soul churner. The 60s-ish recording is the first track to drop off his forthcoming Mid City Island EP, which Sumney describes as a “a lo-fi experimental concept project, made in my bedroom, straight to cassette tape on an ’80s 4-track recorder.” Look out for the full release April 7th and catch Sumney on tour this April with L.A. indie titans Local Natives. If his precious few releases thus far are any indication, it’s bound to be a charmer. So hold on to your septum and for now listen to “Man On The Moon” below.

Video Premiere: Pete Rock Recreates “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” w/ Rich Kidd & Raz Fresco For Rock The Mic

Legendary Producer Pete Rock Joins Canadian MC's Rich Kidd & Raz Fresco To Recreate "T.R.O.Y" With A Live Band In Part One Of The CBC's 'Rock The Mic' Series

Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth‘s “They Reminisce Over You” (T.R.O.Y.) gets a full makeover in part 1 of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation‘s Rock The Mic series, which features the Soul Brother #1 working alongside Canadian MCs Rich Kidd and Raz Fresco to recreate the celebrated 1992 classic with the help of a live band. The series, which revisits rap classics, finds the crew convening at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York City to rework the track. The Rock The Mic tribute to “T.R.O.Y.” arrives on the 22nd anniversary of the track, which was released on April 2, 1992. Pete Rock rededicates the song – a memorial named for fallen friend “Trouble” T.Roy – to Troy Dixon and his cousin Heavy D, whose sudden passing in 2011 was another major blow to the hip-hop community. Pete Rock touched on the impact and importance of the song after two decades in discussion with the CBC:

“Every time I hear the song it brings up memories.… The music itself puts you in a trance to where you just remember what that song really is,”

Continuing, he notes:

“Because I lost a dear friend of mine … that’s the emotional side of it,” he says. “The other side, musically and talent wise with CL Smooth, I think it’s one of the best songs we ever made as a group.”

The new school MC’s do their thing in this touching live tribute to the legendary track featuring the unmistakable horn line from Tom Scott and the California Dreamers‘ 1967 song, “Today.” Check the footage below to watch Pete Rock, Rich Kidd and Raz Fresco recreate “T.R.O.Y.” live at Electric Lady Studios. Join the CBC in celebrating the time-honored production on its 22nd anniversary and think back to the first time you heard “They Reminisce Over You” (T.R.O.Y.). Read the full breakdown of the Electric Lady session plus more at CBC Music.

Drake Flips Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” For “Draft Day”

zo Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers…

Drake Flips Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)" For "Draft Day"

Drake unleashes a boom-bap heavy flip of Lauryn Hill‘s classic “Doo Wop (That Thing) on “Draft Day,” an ode to college football sensation Johnny Manziel. The track comes to us as rumors of Drizzy’s involvement in the Texas A&M quarterback’s post-collegiate career have begun to mount, laying down some choice verbiage, proclaiming “I had to do it for you” over an usually east-coast centric production with swaggering drums and Lauryn’s chopped “da, da” looping supreme. Its a one-off no doubt, but lets see how this little bromance plays out as Manziel’s own draft day quickly approaches. Listen to the latest from Drake with this ill flip below.

Janelle Monáe Covers David Bowie’s “Heroes”

Karas Lamb Karas Lamb writes and digs for tunes you haven’t heard…
Janelle Monáe Takes It To The Islands With "What Is Love"

Janelle Monáe Takes It To The Islands With "What Is Love"

Janelle Monáe returns with an impressive cover of David Bowie‘s 1977 classic “Heroes” for Pepsi‘s Now Is What You Make It interactive campaign. The upbeat take on the track from Bowie’s album of the same name gets a synthy rework crowned by dirty drums and the omnipresence of Janelle Monáe’s bright, echoing vocal. Janelle Monáe discussed the track in a recent chat with Rolling Stone:

“Bowie is part of my musical DNA in so many ways,” Monae says. “And ‘Heroes’ is one of my favorite Bowie songs. When you love your favorite song, you want to keep some of the beautiful qualities of the original, but we brought Atlanta in the drums and wanted them to be thick and hit hard. It’s like us reimagining it. I thought, ‘If this song was in my dream, how would it get from our dream to my reality?’”

On the influence of of David Bowie, she noted:

“He’s mysterious and I love the mystery,” says the singer. “He’s reinvented himself over and over again. Even now, he’s morphed into something that no one else is doing. That’s what I love most about him; he’s transcendent. He’s a true time traveler and I think that that is a part of who I am and the legacy that I want people to remember. I will never expire. Nor will David Bowie. And I say that with humility, but with the utmost confidence. ”

The result is a solid jam worthy of several successive body rolls. A video for the track has already been filmed in Brazil in support of the campaign, which aims to combine the best of soccer and music. Check the track below to listen to “Heroes” from Janelle Monáe. Purchase the single via iTunes. Stay tuned for more.

Spotted at RS.

Raekwon Answers “The Questions” For Okayplayer TV

Eddie "STATS" Imported from Detroit.

Raekwon answers "The Questions"

Raekwon is as much maestro as Chef. Method Man, ODB and Ghostface have all scratchiti’d their names on rap’s wall of fame but Rae is arguably the Wu MC most capable of going toe to toe with the grimiest lyricists of his generation. Along with the grimiest MCs of his generation–Nas, Prodigy and Black Thought, to name a few–he helped redefine the sound–and raise the lyrical bar–of the whole genre with lines that have inspired cyphers on a thousand and one corners. So when we heard hip-hop’s half-Mongolian Napoleon was going toe to toe and bar for bar with Apollo legend Talib Kweli on the set of the video shoot for their collabo track “Violations”–we knew it was time for Rae to face “The Questions.”

A lyrical heavyweight demands equally weighty questions, so we knew we had to come with some haymakers; the crucial questions of our time, questions like: What’s your favorite hood movies from the 90s? Favorite food? What do you do all day? What (other) classic groups do you want to reunite, Wu-Tang style? What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had? Any tips on how to flirt with the sophisticated fly-colored queen bees? Press play on the newest episode of Okayplayer TV to find out the answers to these and more. And while you watching, just make sure dem angles is right, B.

James Fauntleroy – “A Beautiful Mind” + “The Children Of Love”

zo Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers…
James Fauntleroy - "A Beautiful Mind" + "The Children Of Love"

James Fauntleroy - "A Beautiful Mind" + "The Children Of Love"

James Fauntleroy continues his streak of melancholic r&b infused acoustic ballads with two new offerings in “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Children Of Love.” Though we’ve got to hold up our late pass on “The Children Of Love”– as the track technically came to us last week–in tandem with his latest drop “A Beautiful Mind,” it seems the madman behind the boards is gearing up for a strictly acoustic release tentatively (and aptly) titled String Theory.

While these latest installments boast the infectious simplicity in composition and hook-building brilliance of last week’s drop, these new gems have a distinctively bluesier flavor to them with a more rich set of vocal layering on his airy croon, recalling his work with –dare I say– Frank Ocean. No word on a release date yet for String Theory or if  these tracks have even left the demo-stage, but at this rate we might have an album on our hands before too long and if Fauntleroy keeps offering, we’ll certainly take it. Listen to James Fauntleroy’s double-dose of left-field acoustic r&b ballads below and be sure to keep it locked for more from the compositional wunderkind.

The Okayplayer Interview: Pharoahe Monch Talks Mental Health & New Album ‘PTSD’

Zach Gase I am a journalism student at Bowling Green State Univeristy…
Pharoahe Monch talks mental health & PTSD in the Okayplayer Interview

Pharoahe Monch talks mental health & PTSD in the Okayplayer Interview

After a few years away Pharoahe Monch—almost universally recognized as one of hip hop’s most skilled lyricists and technically gifted MCs–is set to reclaim the spotlight in 2014. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark Organized Konfusion LP Stress: The Extinction Agenda, as well as the 15th anniversary of his debut solo effort on Rawkus Records, Internal Affairs. Most importantly, however, Monch is set to drop his first album since 2011’s W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), a follow-up titled PTSD.

PTSD is only Pharoahe Monch’s fourth record in 15 years, but each of his albums have maintained a consistent level of excellence. PTSD shows Monch at his most personal, and is arguably his best crafted and most focused effort to date. The album focuses heavily on mental disorders and follows a loose storyline centered around a man dealing with post-traumatic stress. Guests on the album include Black Thought and Talib Kweli, while the production is held down by Marco Polo, Lee Stone, Quelle Chris and others.

Okayplayer recently had the opportunity to chat with Monch during a haircut to talk about mental health issues, including his own bout with depression; why he decided the make PTSD a full-length LP instead of an EP; his opinion of Nas’ “I Gave You Power”; and more. PTSD is set to drop April 15.

OKP: First off, congrats on the new album. I’ve been playing it quite a bit the past few days.

PM: Thank you, man.

OKP: When you first announced the title for the project it was slated to be an EP, what made you decide to make it a full-length album?

PM: I recorded the title track and “Broken Again,” and I was like, ‘this deserves to be an album.’ So I was like, let me keep going and make it a full-rounded thing. Those two songs kind of hit me really strong, so I didn’t want to just stop there.

OKP: The first single “Damage” came out in 2012. What was the process between when that song came out and when the new single “Bad Motherf**ker” came out in January?

PM: We were just still recording. We wanted to put something out because I hadn’t released any music in a long time. We had a bulk of the album completed, but a lot of the hesitation was waiting for features and engineers. I could block out a month of time in the studio and mix the album as well. So a lot of the stuff is contingent on other people’s time.

OKP: “Damage” revisits the theme of you rapping from the perspective of a bullet (as on 2007’s “Gun Draws” and Organized Konfusion’s 1994 single “Stray Bullet”), what made you decide to stay with that concept?

PM: I think “Stray Bullet” is a classic, and I followed that with “Gun Draws.” I heard the music (to “Damage”), that chorus came to mind, and I was like, we should just complete it from my perspective, you know, from my writing because it’s a trilogy. Let’s just go ahead and finish it up, and make it be the last song from that perspective.

OKP: What were your thoughts when you first heard Nas’ “I Gave You Power” which has a very similar concept?

PM: I thought it was dope, man. With Premier on the beat, and the whole concept to what we had done – I’m a fan. So I thought it was dope.

OKP: Did you ever get to talk to Nas about that track?

Dam-Funk – “Never Gon’ Sell Out, Never Gon’ Sell My Soul”

zo Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers…

Dam-Funk - "Never Gon' Sell Out, Never Gon' Sell My Soul"

Dam-Funk shows puts forth his principles—his sonic philosophy if you will—with the wavy flame of “Never Gon’ Sell Out, Never Gon’ Sell My Soul.” The track serves as the first helping of true-boogie sentiments to have potentially jumped from his upcoming album RETURN, a project almost 3 years in the making. This nearly 8-minute barrage of swirling synthesizers and superbly dirty basses rides on galloping kicks and claps, with only brief filtered vocals at the tail-ends of the groove, channeling some serious Starchild energies. No word on a release date or if this is a confirmed offering from the project, but that shouldn’t stop you from copping this ill instrumental for the low price of free 99. Hop on the mothership with Dam-Funk’s latest heater “Never Gon’ Sell Out, Never Gon’ Sell My Soul” below.

Marvin Gaye Speaks On His Childhood & ‘What’s Going On’ In Rare Unearthed Interview ca. 1971

zo Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers…

Marvin Gaye Speaks On His Early Retirement & Come-Back In Rare Unearthed Interview ca. 1971

Marvin Gaye‘s career was nothing short of legendary, cementing himself as one of Motown’s most successful male artists with countless unforgettable hooks, and all after years of early commercial failures and working as a session musician. On the 30th anniversary of his death, we reflect on his legacy, humanity and overwhelming vulnerability with a rare unearthed interview from Dice Magazine circa 1971. In the interview he describes the divine inspiration that went into his masterpiece Whats Going On, his early childhood, his fascination with nature and why he believed Europeans understood him better than Americans. Its a thoughtful account with one of the greatest hearts and minds the music industry has ever had the honor to observe. Below you can catch a few of the most compelling excerpts from the interview, but be sure to keep it locked as we continue to celebrate Marvin’s legacy tomorrow; what would have been the Motown great’s 75th birthday. Head over to The GuardianUK for the full scoop.

On his childhood fascination with nature:

“I can remember as a child I always kept myself to myself and I always dug nature. I used to fool around with worms, beetles and birds, and I used to admire them while the other kids were playing sports. It was like some strange force made me more aware of nature. Those kids playing sports were also showing love – love for sport. And if we could integrate all types of love into one sphere we’d have it made.”

On being the vessel for Whats Going On:

 “I musn’t get into ego tripping, because I didn’t have much to do with it. But I’m only human and when you get a lot of pats on the back for something it makes you go on trips. I was only the instrument in the album – all the inspiration came from God himself. It’s one that should be listened to. The material is social commentary but there’s nothing extreme on it. I did it not only to help humanity but to help me as well, and I think it has. It’s given me a certain amount of peace.”

On his connection with Europeans and his next move:

“I’d certainly consider a European tour. I’d love to come back some day and say hi to the people, see the country and groove there. It’s been a long time and I’m beginning to feel like an old man. I feel that people in Europe are different from Americans – I think your soul is a little deeper. What a helluva thing I’m saying! There you seem to understand my blackness, my forcefulness and my earthiness. I feel you understand and I get the vibration that you care a little more.”