Today we flash back to 2009 when Sizzla teamed up with N.A.S.A. This epic pairing, manifested musical poetry when the Los Angeles-based DJ group N.A.S.A. (Sizzla Kalonji, Amanda Blank, and Lovefoxxx) collaborated on the song "A Volta."
The song was aptly named volta as much like a volta in poetry, the song created a rhetorical shift, a dramatic turn of events in the story, that creates change. That is what N.A.S.A. has set out to do since it's inception. It all started in 2003 when the group consisted of L.A.-based producer Sam "Squeak E. Clean" Spiegel and Brazilian producer Zé "DJ Zegon" Gonzalez. The two joined forces bringing along about three dozen other artists from all coasts forming N.A.S.A. The group is a musical project dedicated to the spirit of collaboration. The name is an acronym for North America/South America and their collective, unified goals, in the hopes to create more love and understanding in the world.
Over the years they have collaborated with many artists and are still somehow flying under the radar. Their 14+ years of dedication to their goal of unification are exemplified in each rhythm created and in their multi-cultural musical sensibilities, one heartfelt beat after another. The group has worked with the likes of Ol' Dirty Bastard, George Clinton, Tom Waits and Kool Keith. Not only do talented musicians collab with N.A.S.A., visual artists also work with the group to create original animated music videos. Which are both visually stimulating and sometimes disturbing, but always thought-provoking, works of art.
N.A.S.A. hasn't released any new music for about a year. We're hoping it's because another masterpiece is on the way.
In the meantime, watch the music video for "A Volta," here on KingstoToLA.
Here's a great remake of Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff," with groovy beats and funky soul featuring lead singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen O.
Obey Giant and N.A.S.A. seem to be on the same train of thought when they linked up music video, "Money," featuring David Bryne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge and Z-tip.
N.A.S.A released what may be described as a controversial song called, "Jihad Love Squad," featuring hip-hop heavyweight KRS-One. The video was made after N.A.S.A.'s brainchild Sam Spiegel felt it necessary to bring attention to how Muslim culture is portrayed in Western media. In a letter of intent written to discuss his reasoning for making the song, Spiegel said:
"I feel like the impetus for writing "Jihad Love Squad" came from being tired of having this image of a Muslim as a SUICIDE BOMBING TERRORIST drilled into my head by the Western media. Whether it’s the film industry, television, or the news, here in the West, a vast majority of the information we receive about Muslims is negative and violent." He continued to say:
”We wanted to take that stereotype and flip it on its head! Kojak and I came up with the tag, and I imagined thousands of kids at a festival screaming “JIHAD LOVE SQUAD!!!” together in a feeling of oneness, brother and sisterhood, and world commUNITY that only live music can foster."
He noted that he knew KRS-One would be the voice for the song, "I know how positive, well-spoken, thoughtful, and educated he is. Also, having someone who is a teacher with a legacy of righteousness and speaking out in an intelligent and constructive way about political issues through his music would help to give the song weight and credibility."
Watch, listen, think and feel the love behind "Jihad Love Squad," here on KingstonToLA.
All photos courtesy of @nasaoffical & Instagram