Yasiin Gaye, The Departure

I’m always on the lookout for inspiring hip hop with jazzy flair. To my surprise I recently stumbled across this mixtape and haven’t been able to stop it from spinning.

Yasiin Gaye – The Depature, released on February 25, is a project by producer Amerigo Gazaway who combines tracks from hip hop artist Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and classic Motown singer Marvin Gaye. It’s also already being shutdown on certain platforms by the RIAA.

As this Okayplayer article seems to indicate, this is the first release in a series called Soul Mates where Gazaway will combine the modern with the classic. About this release, it goes on to say:

Building the album’s foundation from deconstructed samples of Gaye’s Motown classics, Gazaway re-orchestrates the instrumentation into new productions within a similar framework. Carefully weaving Bey’s dense raps and Gaye’s soulful vocals over his new arrangements, the producer delivers a quality far closer to Gaye’s famous duets than that of a “mashup” album.

The album pieces together eery (and ultimately fascinating) sound bytes of Marvin from various recordings, interlacing his words between hooks, jazzy riffs, or Bey’s lyrics. It kicks off with a sample from the track “The Embassy” via Mos Def’s The Ecstatic release melded with vocals from a live appearance by Mr. Gaye.

I picked this track because of its lively beat and sultry lyrics, but the entire album is worth a listen. Whether you like hip hop, instrumental, or feel good beats, this album has something for everyone.

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