New Music: Black Milk & Nat Turner – “The Rebel” [Audio]

Black Milk

By Jack Barnes

Black Milk, one of the most talented and celebrated hip-hop producers and rappers of his generation, returns alongside his band Nat Turner with a live instrumental LP, The Rebellion Sessions, a jazz-funk opus recorded over the span of one week. Announced by The FADER, the album will be released digitally on Computer Ugly Records on April 4th and on vinyl this summer. Enjoy this audio stream below after the jump.
Orchestrated and produced by Black Milk, The Rebellion Sessions features Nat Turner (Aaron “Ab” Abernathy on keys and Malik Hunter on bass), as well as Black Milk’s drummer Zebulun “Z” Horton. Although the guys have appeared on Black’s previous works, The Rebellion Sessions is the first project created among the four as a collaborative unit. The album, at times recalling the works of Fela Kuti,Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Sly & The Family Stone, D’Angelo, and Robert Glasper, builds off Black Milk and Nat Turner’s incredible live show, honed over the course of years and more than 90 shows played worldwide in 2015 alone during Black Milk’s Play Like Hell Tour.

“This project came together from Nat Turner and I deciding to meet up, lock ourselves in a room for 1 week, and hope that some musical gems could be created in that short amount of time,” explains Black Milk. “For most of the tracks on the album there’s only 3 instruments being played, Z on drums, Malik Hunter on bass and Ab (Aaron Abernathy) on fender rhodes. I knew the less we had to work with the more creative we would have to be. I also kept it stripped down so that when we played live shows, the songs sound exactly how they do on the album. Most of the album is a fusion of jazz + funk orchestrated from a hip hop producers stand point.”

Today, Black Milk lends a verse to an instrumental off the album renamed “The Rebel” (the instrumental album version entitled “4 Blacks”). The track finds Black Milk riding a keyboard-and bass-driven jazz groove, reminiscent of Bob James and Zapp & Roger, delivering passionate, politically charged rhymes: “It’s true the boys in blue looking for who to lynch/the flowers out of the concrete that never grew an inch.” “The Rebel” follows the spontaneous February release of the Sunday Outtakes, three tracks from the sessions that did not end up on the album. Black Milk & Nat Turner will embark on an international tour this summer, performing select tunes from The Rebellion Sessions in addition to songs from Black Milk’s extensive catalog.

The Background:
As one of the most celebrated producers and rappers of his generation of hip-hop artists, Black Milk has conditioned fans and critics to expect the unexpected with each release. Few producers have earned the notoriety and respect he has as a musician, and when that is coupled with commanding talent as an emcee, it’s no surprise that his solo releases are met with exalted anticipation. His latest full-length album, If There’s A Hell Below, continues Black’s trend of releasing material that maintains his signature sound while pushing it into new territory.
With more than a decade of industry experience and a rich catalog of recordings, Black Milk has transitioned from one of hip-hop’s young rising stars to a veteran with a uniquely well-rounded pedigree. After scoring his first production credit for Slum Village as a teenager in 2002, he eventually worked closely with the group and co-produced much of their two following albums. His self-released, full-length project Sound of the City (2005) led to his first record deal, and he began to gain international attention for the soul-sample driven style on his proper solo debut Popular Demand (2007). With five solo rap albums (Popular DemandTronicAlbum of the YearNo Poison No Paradise and Glitches In The Break), an instrumental album (Synth or Soul), numerous collaboration albums (Caltroit with Bishop Lamont, The Set Up with Fat Ray, Black and Brown with Danny Brown, Random Axe with Sean Price and Guilty Simpson and Burning Stones with Mel), and 2 singles with Jack White behind him, Black Milk remains one of hip-hop’s most consistent artists.
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New Music: Black Milk & Nat Turner - "The Rebel" [Audio]

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