If you haven’t copped, played and replayed Lalah Hathaway’s new ‘Lalah Hathaway Live‘ album, you’re depriving yourself of what someone called a “transcendent musical experience”. Not only will you be subjecting yourself to Lalah’s limitless vocal range, you’ll be taking a journey back to when real soul music was made, rendering homage to her legendary father Donny and Anita Baker among other greats along the way. One of the magical moments on this the latest offering of the celebrated songstress is her take on Donny Hathaway’s timeless classic ‘Ghetto Boy‘. There have been incredible renditions of this plea to young black men, including the one on the joint John Legend-The Roots album ‘Wake Up!’. But there’s something about having the song sang by the daughter of its original singer that makes Lalah’s version a little bit extra special.
How do you make such a great song even greater, you may ask? By inviting Snoop Dogg and Robert Glasper to do a remix, of course. If there’s an artist who’s proven his versatility over the years, it’s the Long Beach rapper. He’s collaborated with just about every big name in the industry, and has even lent many lesser known wannabes his sleek bars. This time he uses his legendary flow to join Lalah in expressing concerns over the state of young men living in the country’s ghettos. “Woke up, jumped out my bed, CNN another black brother dead, feet to the pedal, life don’t matter when you’re born in the ghetto…” he laments. In the background you hear layered Lalah harmonies and the buzzing synths that are the trademark of West Coast rap tracks. You also hear jazzy piano strokes courtesy of the inimitable Robert Glasper. Though the piano wizard doesn’t show up in the video, Terrace Martin and Kamasi Washington, both of whom labored on Kendrick Lamar’s epic ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ do.
Miami Based, Internationally Known