For this Grammy Foundation-backed documentary and soundtrack, top DJ/producers put a modern spin on traditional country, jazz, classical, rock and R&B. For example, DJ Premier conducted the Berklee Symphony Orchestra in a suite featuring Nas. And The Crystal Method created new Motown sounds with Martha Reeves and the legendary Funk Brothers. Erykah Badu, who helped DJ Mark Ronson re-imagine New Orleans jazz, calls the process magical. “I was honored to be in the studio with Mark, Trombone Shorty, Zigaboo Modeliste, The Dap-Kings and Mos Def. I really wanted to impress them,” she says.
In under four hours, she penned “A La Modeliste,” a heaping pot of audio gumbo that somehow turns the childhood dozens staple, “Yo mama don’t wear no drawers…” into high art. “This collaboration was really, really fun and just possible,” she adds. “I felt like I was in a time warp — a time of pure, unadulterated funk.”