The best way to interlope Gil Scott-Heron and The xx’s Jamie xx’s careers would be through a Ven Diagram. On the surface, there are no direct similarities: Gil Scott-Heron is the Godfather of modern Hip-Hop while Jamie makes music that should be the soundtrack to a John Hughes film. However, dig deeper and see that both share loves of making soulful minimalistic music–whether it be through Scott-Heron’s spoken-word poetry or The xx’s raspy inter-song dialogues. And with the English group taking time off in the next year, the Brit wunderkid has bridged this perceived divide, promoting his fully remixed version of Scott-Heron’s latest release, We’re New Here, and it’s anticipated first single, “NY Is Killing Me.”
The song’s intro ticktocks with syncopated electronics and Scott-Heron’s gruff vocals. Assembling bouncing bass drops and rattling drum kicks, Scott-Heron drifts in and out of the mix as the track builds. The club-ready conclusion spawns out of the track’s escalating elements, with lush effects guaranteeing it will sound just as good in an East London club as it does on iTunes.
If this new take on Scott-Heron’s influential prose peaks your interest, check werenewhere.com to cop the single and pre-order the album before its release on February 21.