Although the words “donate,” “Haiti” and “help” are no longer on the tip of every newscaster’s tongue across the planet, the crisis that left the Caribbean country in ruins is still an ongoing ordeal. There’s plenty of charities and movements out there for every able participant to contribute to in some form or fashion, and tonight unveiled the regurgitation of one the most popular ones ever created.
“We Are The World,” a song so memorable, it quickly overshadowed the very cause it was created for (which was African aid in cause you’re still wondering), is brought back to life 25 years later in the same recording studio with the same core cast in Quincy Jones, Lionel Ritchie and even the late Michael Jackson. Essentially the same format and lyric structure, there’s a few annotations that give this a clear distinction from the original.
Surprising to all, Hip-Hop is added to the fray with a cadre of seasoned rappers lending the song their artistic merits. Excuse me, LL COOL J backed by a cadre of seasoned rappers... No (intentional) knock to the self-proclaimed G.O.A.T., but Kanye West, Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes Lil’ Wayne are still making good Hip-Hop albums and selling them well. Experience points don’t amount to much when you’re trying to cut a good record.
And speaking of Lil’ Weezer, who in the Sam Hill greenlit a solo–in Auto-Tune at that–from the boy? We have quality vocalists like Raphael Saadiq, Anthony Hamilton–even the lead hillbilly from the Zac Brown Band playing the background, capable of nailing the ten second solo with ease. But name recognition has been the motto as of late in the music industry and sadly, adjustments couldn’t be made for a track that’s designed for national attention. Much like the Bono and Jay-Z tribute you’ve already forgotten about, a well-intentioned fundraiser produces shoddy results. Common advised against it and now we’re left with a timeless spiritual without any soul.
In this instance though, the attempt was justified. Whether you feel it’s mediocre or not, this massive collaboration will be etched in stone forever more. Visit iTunes for the goods.