Posts Tagged ‘Flying Lotus’

“Experimental” and “creative” are words that immediately spring to mind off initial listens to “See Thru To U,” a new collaboration between Flying Lotus and Erykah Badu. There’s a lot going on, as you’d expect from any Flying Lotus song, but there’s a serene order to the frenetic rhythms. The song has a distinct tribal feel and Badu’s vocals have a serene, mesmerizing quality over these arrangements. And it’s quite a tease to have this song clocking in under three minutes.

“See Thru To U” will be a part of Lotus’ upcoming album Until the Quiet Comes.


Analog girl in a digital world. Erykah Badu is marking the one year anniversary of the release of her last album (New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)) with a video for one of that LP’s more upbeat tracks, “Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long.” Flying Lotus handles the directorial duties. If you’ve viewed Bilal’s “Levels” clip, it’s not hard to envision artists flocking to him to assist in bringing their music to visual life.

Another thing I’ve noticed is artists are beginning to go back to really working their projects and not letting the first few weeks be the end all, be all. For example, Nas and Damian Marley are still touring  off last year’s Distant Relatives, and just dropped an excellent clip for “Patience.” And if you listen closely, you can hear the beginning chord of Badu’s “20 Feet Tall,” which likely means we’ll get another video from  Erykah’s excellent album. Far as I’m concerned, she can drop videos to every song off that album.

“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.




Between a new album (Dark Twisted Fantasy), a weekly song series (G.O.O.D. Friday), and an upcoming mini-movie (Runaway), Kanye West is one the busiest artists in the industry today. And based on recent quotes from singer MIA and producer Flying Lotus, Kanye is getting more high-powered help to assist in completing his 2010 artistic vision.

Last week, M.I.A. confirmed via Twitter that she was in the studio working with Kanye and also discussing Mark Twain quotes. West continued the quip later on his Twitter, joking about how Twain would adjust his quotes if he had a Twitter account.

On Sunday (September 19), Flying Lotus also confirmed his working relationship via Twitter. The electic producer revealed the news by asking if Kanye would still be making their scheduled studio session.

M.I.A. and Flying Lotus have both released full-length albums this year in Maya and Cosmogramma, respectively. It’s unconfirmed whether West’s work with the pair will end up on his upcoming album Dark Twisted Fantasy, or be released before Christmas through the G.O.O.D. Friday series. To date, the latter weekly series has featured appearances from Jay-Z, Mos Def, Raekwon, Justin Bieber, Charlie Wilson, Nicki Minaj and others.

Dark Twisted Fantasy is due out on November 16. Kanye West’s next big appearance will as the music guest for Saturday Night Live on October 2.


A few days ago reports were circulating that Def Jam has allegedly spent three million so far on the album.

At first that may sound absurd to think  ofany label in 2010 fronting that kind of cash. But when think about all the hands that are contributing, and that ‘Ye doesn’t have the outside promotional resources of a Jay-Z, it is very possible. Just on production, you have No I.D., DJ Premier, Pete Rock, The RZA, DJ Toomp, Lex Luger, Bink, Madlib and Swizz Beatz. On the rhyming side, West has enlisted Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Drake, Eminem, T.I., Rick Ross and Beyonce. That’s an incredible lineup that has to be compensated.

Thankfully, that is and issue of the label and others behind the scenes to be worried about. Our only concern should the quality of the music. From the G.O.O.D. Friday series, you can hear ‘Ye experimenting with melodies and our expectations of Hip-Hop song structure.

There’s been some exceptional albums to drop this year, but I have a hunch Kanye’s latest will be in the running for the best of the year.

“Bilal is hands down one of the greatest specimens of voice in post-modern Hip-Hop culture.” ?uestlove

“He sounded tremendous, his voice leaving genre in the dust…” New York Times Review

On July 23rd Bilal joined the Miguel Atwood Ferguson Ensemble for a free show in Los Angeles. The night was noted for bringing together a diverse group of musicians to blend with the classical in Flying Lotus, Aloe Bacc, Chris “Daddy” Dave, and Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner. Hip-Hop fans got their first exposure to Miguel Atwood Ferguson within the last year courtesy of his work with J Dilla’s mom for the “Suite to Ma Dukes” project.

Below is their now-download available rendition of Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We Will All Be Free.” Bilal’s new album Airtight’s Revenge will be released on September 14th. Be on the lookout for my exclusive interview with him tommorrow here at Beats, Boxing and Mayhem.

For those who missed out on Ferguson’s Dilla work, check out the links below for “Fall In Love” and “Jealously.”