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El Michels Affair

'How to Make It in America,' step one: Get a fantastic theme song from Aloe Blacc

When my friends and I watched the series premiere of HBO’s How to Make It in America this weekend, we rewound as soon as the opening credits were over so we could listen again to the new show’s awesome theme song, “I Need a Dollar.” It sounded like the type of thing you might discover deep in someone’s collection of old soul records on vinyl – maybe an obscure Bill Withers B-side we weren’t familiar with?

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El Michels Affair puts a soulful spin on the Wu-Tang Clan

Hip-hop has been re-contextualizing and riffing off of older musical styles for decades now, so I always appreciate artists who come at that conversation from the opposite direction. Take El Michels Affair, a relatively new NYC band whose upcoming album Enter the 37th Chamber consists of a dozen or so classic cuts from the Wu-Tang Clan and its members, reinterpreted as instrumental soul numbers.

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