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The Messengers - K'Naan remixes Dylan, Fela, Marley


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Has anyone else heard of this? I'm downloading it now (free).



New York, NY (August 18, 2009) – Some artists are defined by their environment. Some redefine their environment. Still others push the boundaries of convention so fully that their influence is felt around the globe, and across generations. Their music compels us not only to dance but to think, not only to celebrate but to strive, not only to listen but to truly hear. Fela Kuti, Nigeria’s eminent musical activist; Bob Marley, Jamaica’s emissary of struggle and unity; and Bob Dylan, America’s reluctant Civil Rights song leader, are three such artists.

These are “The Messengers.â€

Today, August 18, 2009, acclaimed DJ/Producer, J.Period, and rising Somali-born MC, K’NAAN, are pleased to announce a unique and powerful remix project, paying tribute to the lasting legacy of these musical giants. Weaving afro-beat, reggae, ska, folk music and rock into this genre-bending musical experience, The Messengers stretches the boundaries of hip hop—and the mixtape genre itself. Remixing the classic work of Fela, Marley and Dylan, The Messengers captures the timelessness of their sounds and the continued urgency of their messages. The result, as fans have come to expect from J.Period, is like no mixtape you’ve ever heard.

The Messengers arrives on the heels of K'NAAN's sophomore release, Troubadour (A&M/Octone Records), released January 2009. Having already made a powerful mark with his breakthrough debut, K’NAAN’s Troubadour debuted at #32 on Billboard’s Top 200, continuing his rapid rise on the world stage. Filled with eloquent and thought-provoking lyrics in the tradition of great folk singers and protest songs, the album also features all-star collaborations with Damian Marley, Mos Def, Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Adam Levine & James Valentine (Maroon 5) and Chubb Rock.

With a track record for game-changing remix projects (his recent collaboration with Q-Tip yielded over 600,000 downloads), J.Period’s ever-expanding highlight reel boasts remixes for heavyweights from Mary J. Bilge to The Roots to Kanye West, as well as original production for blockbuster films and video games. Commissioned by labels, artists and lifestyle brands for his groundbreaking promo campaigns, J.Period has not only elevated the mixtape to an art form, but consistently proved its viability as a potent promotional tool. Each release raises the bar, and with The Messengers, J.Period proves that his musical ear and signature documentary style are at home in any genre

K’NAAN’s compelling personal story (raised in war-torn Mogadishu, descendant of famed Somali singers and poets) has also fueled his international appeal: bridging styles and audiences; re-invigorating hip hop’s global influence; and altering perception of his homeland, Somalia (recently hailed as the world’s “Most Dangerous Destination†by Forbes Magazine). In hip hop, where MCs wear bullet wounds like badges of honor, few have actually lived through war, and even fewer emerged with a message of peace. K’NAAN has, making his lyrics on “The Messengers†not just a tribute to Fela, Marley and Dylan, but a testament to the transformative power of music itself.

"This project is really special to me,†says K’NAAN, “Not the product of ego but of passion. Far from a marketing tool, it is an honest musical offering. Nothing gives a better window into the root and concept of my own sound than The Messengers"

“A lot of people say hip hop is in a stagnant place, but I see few actually doing something about it,†says J.Period. “I love the The Messengers because the concept is completely unique, but still true to the original spirit of hip hop: combining the best elements from everywhere to create something fresh, to make a new statement. Fela, Marley and Dylan proved that when great music meets a powerful message, the result lives forever. I hope K’NAAN and I have done their legacies justice with this project.â€

After an Invitation-Only Launch Party in Toronto (K’NAAN’s current home) on August 15, The Messengers will be released in 5 parts over the course of 5 weeks, beginning with the first installment—a 3-song digital EP featuring one Fela remix, one Marley, and one Dylan—on Tuesday, August 18. Following the EP release, J.Period & K’NAAN will pay tribute to each of “The Messengers†individually with a new release every Tuesday in September, beginning with a tribute to Fela Kuti (September 1), Bob Marley (September 8), Bob Dylan (September 15), and culminating in the release of The Messengers in its entirety (including additional bonus tracks and artwork) on September 22.

Each digital release will also be accompanied by an exclusive illustration by graphic artist, Fuse Green (http://www.fusegreen.com), the tremendous talent behind J.Period’s iconic cover art (Q-Tip, Lauryn Hill, The Roots, Game Rebellion)

The Messengers boasts a lineup of talented guest artists from around the globe: New York’s M1 (Dead Prez), Toronto’s Kardinal Offishall, Sierra Leone's rising talent Bajah + Dry Eye Crew (http://planetbajah.com), Brooklyn’s Steele (Smif’N’Wessun), Oakland’s Zumbi (Zion I), Game Rebellion front man Netic the Rebel, bassist Brian Satz, talented producer DJ Preservation, and mixer/engineer, Alex Moulton (www.expansionteam.org).

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Thanks for the links :) . I missed him at the college last week, where apparently some east African hardliners gave him some grief for shining "too much" light (or something) during Ramadan, which doesn't seem cause for making any fuss about anything (as he tried to make a point about, if strangers' translations are to be counted for).

Sorry - point in brief, Muaic good :)

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I'm just giving this a listen now (the Fela tribute) and I must say, this is great stuff! Creative, fresh and really interesting remixes of Fela's music interspersed with quotes from Fela himself and interview-like clips of K'Naan talking about Fela, and new tracks from K'Naan himself that are inspired by Fela. Not sure if I'm describing it so well but this is awesome! A great tribute and interesting take on biography.

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