Groundbreaking artist Kamasi Washington's immensely anticipated sophomore album Heaven and Earth is out now via Young Turks / Remote Control Records. The long-awaited follow up to Washington’s debut The Epic, is comprised of two halves, which find Washington confronting quotidian realities with cosmic themes. A further investigation of Washington’s world building ideas, the new album explores his reckoning with current global chaos and his vision for the future.
Washington convened his band, The Next Step, as well as members of the long running collective The West Coast Get Down at Henson Studios in Los Angeles to record the 16 tracks on Heaven and Earth. The music was composed, written and arranged by Washington, with new arrangements of jazz and bebop legend Freddie Hubbard’s 'Hubtones' and iconic kung fu film theme 'Fists of Fury,' as well as one song by bandmate Ryan Porter. Thundercat, Terrace Martin, Ronald Bruner, Jr., Cameron Graves, Brandon Coleman, Miles Mosley, Patrice Quinn, Tony Austin and many more contribute to the album.
To celebrate the release, Washington this week shared his A.G. Rojas-directed video for 'Street Fighter Mas' — watch it here.
The video includes cameos by famed Street Fighter legends Gootecks andCombofiend and one of Washington’s Los Angles heroes — Kevin Gilliam a.k.a. BattleCat, a longtime collaborator of Dr. Dre, Snoop and Tupac Shakur. The video was inspired by Washington’s love of the Street Fighter video game and depicts Washington’s adventure through Los Angeles en route to an epic battle to claim the title of champion against Combofiend. Rojas and Washington previously collaborated on a short film titled 'Truth' for Washington’s 2017 EP Harmony of Difference.
Talking about the 'Street Fighter Mas' video, A.G. Rojas says:
“I love inhabiting Kamasi's world, and Street Fighter Mas was an opportunity to take a left turn and explore the surreal qualities of that world. When Kamasi told me the background of the song, how Street Fighter was a safe space for him - it took me back to the supermarket down the street from my childhood home where my brother and I would try and get in as many games before our mother was finished shopping. It was a true labor of love for everyone involved, coming from a desire to interpret the cinematic qualities of the track into something equally unpredictable, familiar, absurd, and ultimately triumphant."
Heaven and Earth, over two and a half hours of music, is now available on double deluxe CD and a four piece vinyl housed in bespoke double gatefold sleeve, in addition to all digital services.
Buy / stream Kamasi Washington Heaven and Earth: https://kamasiwashington.lnk.to/heavenandearth