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Flying Lotus, Shabazz Palaces, and Thundercat form new supergroup WOKE

Listen to their debut song "The Lavishments of Light Looking"

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Flying Lotus // Photo by Ben Kaye

    Photo by Ben Kaye

    Adult Swim’s 2015 Singles program recently gave us the long-awaited comeback of Ghostface Killah and DOOM’s collaborative project DOOMSTARKS. Now, the summer music series is helping to facilitate another meeting of brilliant minds.

    This week’s installment, titled “The Lavishments of Light Looking”, serves as the official debut of WOKE, a new supergroup comprised of Flying Lotus, Shabazz Palaces, and Thundercat. Produced by FlyLo, the track, much like its creators, incorporates elements of hip-hop, electronic, jazz fusion, funk, and more. As if the cut wasn’t stacked enough, George Clinton also provides guest vocals. In keeping with the alliteration, let’s just say “The Lavishments of Light Looking” is officially lit. 

    Listen to the song below and/or download it for free via Adult Swim’s official website.

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    WOKE isn’t the first time we’ve seen these artists join forces. In the past, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, and Shabazz Palaces have all linked up in various capacities, including albumstours, one-off tracks, and more.

    Update — Tuesday, 2:36 p.m.: In a new interview with Pitchfork, Flying Lotus spoke about how the superstar project came to fruition, noting how WOKE’s origins date back to a feature film of the same name.

    “The WOKE project started about three years ago. I, myself, and some screenwriter friends of mine started writing a script for feature film called WOKE. It was something that we developed for quite a while,” he explained. “Initially, it was going to star Ishmael [Butler] from Shabazz Palaces and Jeremiah Jae. We worked on it for a while, started workshopping, but there’s always the financial issue — I haven’t found anyone who is going to invest in the film.”

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    He added, “But I wanted to keep the project going somehow. It’s about music, it’s about musicians, and so I decided, ‘Why don’t we just try and build up some momentum through music and maybe do the film after?’ We started working earlier this year on music. We did a few songs. We have a few things. We’re just going to let it build naturally, see what happens. We’re not going to rush to finish it. Jeremiah Jae is also part of WOKE too, but maybe more so as a producer. I’m not sure. We haven’t really defined anything, really, other than the fact that we’re going to keep working on stuff.”

    The experimental producer also said that while a new album isn’t officially in the works, there are a “bunch of ideas” and “nine songs kind of floating around,” including more material with Clinton. It’s just a matter of the right timing and circumstances, according to him. “I want to make sure that all the stuff that we do is in the same room together. I’m not trying to do e-mail shit; I really want it to be organic and a true collaboration.” FlyLo also said that WOKE’s members would be interested in taking their music out on the road if the opportunity were to arise.

    Other 2015 Adult Swim Singles include tracks from SlayerShabazz PalacesDanny Brown and Clams CasinoPeachesSwervedriverYung Lean, and Owen Pallett. Plus, new material from Run the Jewels is expected in the coming weeks. You can also download the tracks for free via Adult Swim.

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