Jack White has produced, collaborated, recorded and released music from a dizzying array of acts over the years, ranging from Loretta Lynn to Reggie Watts to Conan O'Brien and beyond. Having conquered his own musical mountains, he's shifted a considerable amount of his attention to helping launch careers and revitalize others with his signature sound & stylings. Unsurprisingly, he’s lined up another impressive collaboration - but this one ventures into new territory.
Today, Nashville label is releasing its first foray into Hip-Hop with a single from Detroit-based rapper/producer Black Milk (most recently of the trio, Random Axe). The two-track release, recorded this past Spring, features White on guitar on the A-side "Brain" and trading the axe for a drum kit on the B-side "Royal Mega". Naturally, White also co-produced both tracks.
Stream the other cut, "Brain," over at Some Kind of Awesome.
This latest effort is another example of Mr. White stepping outside his own comfort zone for the sake of artistic transcendence. Despite his much-rumored (and still unheard) collaboration with Jay-Z, Jack had a few disparaging words for Hip-Hop back in a 2003 interview with Rolling Stone.
“I find OutKast and Wu-Tang Clan interesting,” White shared. “But I consider music to be storytelling, melody and rhythm. A lot of hip-hop has broken music down. There are no instruments and no songwriting. So you’re left with just storytelling and rhythm. And the storytelling can be so braggadocious, you’re just left with rhythm. I don’t find much emotion in that.”
Rather than write off the genre with a blanket dismissal, it appears Jack’s rolled up his sleeves and decided to help fix what he saw as a problem. No complaints here.
The record is available beginning today (July 12th) as a 7″ vinyl and a digital download via Third Man Records.