Back in April, FACTMAG ran this story about MF Doom and Flying Lotus releasing a collaboration for the year entitled “Mask of The North Star”, complete with a track listing. I mean, I was freaking the hell out; the Metal Face rhyming maestro, Doom, and one of the current greats, Flying Lotus, were going to release what I felt could be one of the quirkiest, funky albums out there. It would’ve been an experiment for Doom to spit over the type of beats FlyLo crafts. Then, one of the fans asked Run The Jewels, El-P, who was one of the featured guests, if the album was indeed on the way. In the most blatant yet truthful fashion, El-P reminded us why the album was not going come out, or even exist at all; the news was delivered on April Fool’s Day.
Curse me for a fool! How could I have fallen for this on the day where everyone pranks their friends with off the wall and unbelievable (yet possible) news? It’s just that Doom and FlyLo run with the same circle of peers, and the idea of them working together is something all us avant Hip-Hop lovers would want to see. The pain of the realization is obviously gone, and at least new, amazing music has been released.
Then recently…FACTMAG delivered the indeed real news of a brand new musical identity taking shape. The new band, WOKE, was revealed and spearheaded by three of the currently revered artists out right now; the god Flying Lotus, bass wizard Thundercat and experimental Hip-Hop duo, Shabazz Palaces. I mean, these cats have been on my radar for a long while, so I took the news with much excitement.
Not only that, WOKE has a single out right now, and it’s sick. There’s no shortage of funk, Thundercat’s bass noodling, and Shabazz Palaces’ spacey wordplay and ambience. They have recruited funk — George Clinton, and he’s definitely having a year for himself, having been featured on Kendrick Lamar’s classic “To Pimp a Butterfly.” It’s such a dope track, filled with the type of West Coast inspired funk that FlyLo and Thundercat have been venturing into lately, and that mystical ambiance that I love Shabazz Palaces for.
With the single released, there are indeed plans to release future material. This is the type of stuff that gets me really hyped and excited for music. Musical adventures like WOKE are always welcome, and they are encouraged to be listened to. You’d be surprised about the new places it can take you and the imagination that can wake up within you.