Joe Fox’s “What’s The Word?” is a groovy, genre-blending mix of rock and soul, but now, thanks to a little help from the legendary Nas, it’s got a strong dose of unfiltered, 100 proof hip-hop in the recipe as well. It’s a match made in heaven too; as its nostalgic vibe could best be described as a message song about the ills of society (and probably would have been, back in the “race record” days), who better to break down the drama of the current news cycle and day-to-day living than one of the illest storytellers in rap?
If the name Joe Fox doesn’t sound familiar, you may want to run back ASAP Rocky’s At Lost Last, ASAP album, as Fox is heavily featured on five songs from that album. The British crooner embraces a throwback, soulful sound that elicits a cross between Amy Winehouse and the Black Keys, with prominent acoustic guitars and raw, introspective lyrics about isolation and nostalgia. Fox met Nas at a GQ magazine party with Rocky two years ago, and apparently the two hit it off well enough that Nas did the young singer the solid of appearing on a remix of “What’s The Word?” which originally dropped in July. You can see the video for the original below
With his appearance on the new version of “What’s The Word?” Nas has a chance to make his final statement on NBA rookie Lonzo Ball’s comment that “Nobody listens to Nas anymore.” Ironically, it’s because of the throwback sound of the record that Nas sounds so comfortable, which might make it harder for kids raised on the murky production of PartyNextDoor and fuzzy, navel-gazing of Frank Ocean to relate to — which was kind of Lonzo’s point all along. More the shame for them; “What’s The Word?” is a stone cold groove and should put Joe Fox on all the right radars to see what he’s coming up with next.