Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Good Times with Jamie xx

I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times) is one of the more surprising tracks on Jamie xx's solo album, In Colour. Featuring US rapper Young Thug and Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan, it feels like a contemporary, if laid back, hip-hop track compared to the soulful nostalgia that permeates the rest of the record.

That's not a criticism, though. The song is a joyous, arms-aloft tribute to US rap; which originated during The xx's residency at the Armory in New York in late 2013. As Jamie told Grantland, it was inspired by his nightly drive over the bridge to Manhattan, when he’d listen to cutting-edge radio station Hot 97. Eventually, he decided to make a rap track of his own. One that would fit seamlessly on US hip-hop radio.

He quickly whizzed up a backing track, sampling The Persuasions' Good Times. Then he started scouting for rappers to contribute on the track. Many tried, but only two made the final cut, Jamie explained to Annie Mac.

"They both really liked the track when I sent it to them - and they sent it back within days, which was very suprising. I'd been working on the track for such a long time, and listening to lots of people do their versions. But when I got that one, I knew it was the one."

Here it is then, with a colourful video courtesy of Rollo Jackson (Angel Haze, Chase and Status, et al).

There's also a fantastic Skepta remix of the song, which premiered last night. Here it is.

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