“Finally, someone let me out of my cage”
If your brain immediately followed up with, “Now, time for me is nothing cause I'm countin' no age,” than this news is for you.
Last summer it was announced that the Gorillaz, the best virtual band in music history, would release an album in 2016 and 13-year old me jumped for joy. I’ve been looking forward to this album as much as any this year because, as anyone who knows "Clint Eastwood" or "Feel Good Inc." by heart can tell you, they made some of the coolest, most unique music of the past decade. I've yet to encounter a single person who doesn't like the Gorillaz and it’s just been too damn long, five years in fact, since the release of their last album, The Fall.
Though a release date is still far from set, thanks to producer Russel Hobbs and Gorlliaz collaborator Remi Kabaka, we now know that Vic Mensa has been working with the Gorillaz.
Considering Gorillaz hip-hop history and my complicated relationship with Mensa, this is huge news. The Gorillaz have drawn in a short but illustrious list of hip-hop collaborators over the years, which includes De La Soul, Del the Funky Homosapien, Mos Def, Snoop Dogg, Andre 3000 and MF DOOM. To see Mensa, who actually perfomed “Clint Eastwood" with front man Damon Albarn last summer, join that list is pretty amazing and means that Albarn holds Mensa in high esteem.
While I'm very excited, I'm also skeptical considering the noticeable change in Mensa's output since he signed to Roc Nation. Though "U Mad" doesn't exactly scream Gorillaz, Mensa has been known to step outside the confines of the traditional, and when he does it's been great, but he just hasn't shown the consistency. Talent has never been the issue, and now with Albarn leading the charge, we could both get great new music from Gorillaz and the kind of song that truly gets people excited for Mensa's upcoming, super-delayed formal debut.
Let's give the new generation a little taste of what the “Clint Eastwood” and “Feel Good Inc”-era was like. I can't wait.