“We’re in the same place/ There’s got to be more levels…”
Bilal’s Airtight’s Revenge was arguably the best R&B/Soul album released last year. The musicianship and lyrics provided a lot of depth for fans to delve into. One of the more experimental offerings from the LP was the Shafiq Husayn-produced “Levels.” The trippy, fantasy feel of the track is upped by the spaced-out visuals of director Flying Lotus, an accomplished, avant-garde artist in his own right. For inspiration, Lotus pulled from his own work to create an amalagamized “space opera” for Bilal.
I originally wanted to keep visual themes with another video from my last LP called ‘mmhmm’ off of my last album. It featured Thundercat as an intergalactic bass player in a super strange world created by ‘Special Problems’. Since Thundercat was part of this song, I thought it could be fun to continue the visual style and feel of this space opera. In the end you have this crazy video made of so much mixed media, geek dreams and lots of love.
Plug Research has released the Levels EP, featuring interpretations from Flying Lotus, Sonnymoon and KenBts with Chris “Daddy” Dave. The project can be purchsed for less than $4 through iTunes. Be on the lookout in the video for appearances from Erykah Badu and Shafiq Husayn. If you missed Bilal’s interview with Beats, Boxing & Mayhem, check it out here.