For lessons in groove you don’t have to look too far beyond the excellent Toronto pair Freedom Or Death. This week we were kindly sent their cover of the Nas tune, If I Ruled The World, by one half of the duo, Steve Fernandez. They had a very successful CMJ Festival and wanted to do a cover of an artist that represented New York, so they turned to their love of Hip Hop.
The original is rather stripped down affair, with a simple bassline over a sharp beat/clap, filling out with a little soul for the chorus, so it was intriguing to find out what Freedom Or Death would do with it for their cover. They did the right thing in focusing on the chorus, starting with it and repeating it like a mantra at regular points throughout.
What was an aspiring hit has now had it’s atmosphere changed to what seems like more of a lament by a regretful man, no longer stating the direction he would take us, but longing for a change, if only he ruled the world. It’s a beautiful twist on a great tune that stirs thoughts and adds flavours where none had previously existed.
We first covered Freedom Or Death a few months ago (here) but between then and now we came across an excellent remix of one of their songs, This Crowded Room, which has been turned into a dubstepping crunch of a tune by Club Seal, so this post seems like a good opportunity to also list that.
The pair are currently recording an album and hope to have it completed by Spring 2011. We look forward to keeping you posted on all developments from the Freedom Or Death camp as they continue to emerge through next year. (MB)
FREEDOM OR DEATH – RULE THE WORLD (NAS COVER)
FREEDOM OR DEATH – THIS CROWDED ROOM (CLUB SEAL REMIX)
FREEDOM OR DEATH – THIS CROWDED ROOM (ORIGINAL)