This weekend marked the 33rd anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s murder (Apr. 1) and birthday (Apr. 2). Raekwon, who just released his new project The Wild, posted “Marvin,” his autobiographical tribute to the late soul legend.
Taking a page out of Nas‘s “Unauthorized Autobiography of Rakim,” the Wu lyricist paints a vivid picture of Gaye’s life from his youth, to his success on Motown Records, to his depression, to his comeback in the ‘80s and finally, his tragic death.
“Once I heard the beat, his name kept coming to me,” said Raekwon in a press release (via NPR Music). “The beat reminded me of him and it transported me back to that time. It was like his life flashed before me and the words just began spilling out organically.”
Produced by Frank G., the orchestral track boasts a crisp drum beat and a sample from Banks & Hampton’s “Passion and Promises,” which gives it a Marvin vibe (à la “I Want You”). CeeLo Green bring more soul to the song with his passionate vocals on the chorus. “Marvin, the sound of your voice / Sets fire to my soul / What a glory to be hold,” he sings.
“Marvin’s music transcended genres and it can speak to anyone, but it especially speaks to those of us who come from the inner-city; poverty, oppression, the good and the bad,” said Rae. “Living in the inner-city, his music helps us reflect. He was real and you could hear it in his voice and in his music. That is where we have parallels, he spoke to a generation and so do I and Wu-Tang.”
True indeed. Props to Raekwon for paying tribute to Marvin Gaye. Listen to the song below.