Somewhere back in the 70's the roots of hip-hop wrapped around the sci-fi literary movement (especially certain pulp elements) and tapped into a rich vein of celestial imagery and space age soundscapes that made behinds boogie.
Africa Bambaattaa seriously wasn't funking around. "Planet Rock" unleashed something that literally was state of the art tech at the time, teaming up with Kraftwerk, a German industrial band so OG they were industrial before the genre had a word for it.
"Planet Rock" is a mechanical blast from a rarely heard past. Hip-hop was still figuring itself out, although it had great sources to work with, thanks to rock & roll, blues and funk.
Africa Bambaattaa was both an innovator and a visionary. Bands like Parliament-Funkadelic took that ball, plugged it in, and flew the construct as far as they could go. George Clinton's unorthodox posse counselled all not to worry, because the Mothership was going to land and save us all from The Man.
Their concerts unleashed all the imagery your eyes could take, as if the album cover's high-tech groin shot wasn't enough.
Thank God, the aliens are here, and they are down to funk out.
Modern hip-hop artists don't forget the bedrock of the genre that they stomp around in, so artists like Common and Ice Cube haven't hesitated to put their own spin on some old-skool classics by infusing the tunes with some of their own voltage.
Unity Lewis is keeping the vision alive. The MC is giving listeners something electric, galactic and certainly funkadelic with The Afro-Terrestrials: AfroTek.
If you are down with iTunes, you can check it out here.
Offering the work as a "sci-fi story," the album even has a fictional report to get you in the mood. Here is an excerpt:
The Afro-Terrestrials Report:
Date: July 3rd 2014
Time: 0400 Hours
Mission: Agent Republican Power Surveillance
The tribal leaders are identified as follows:
Tai-Chi (aka Don Juan Immaculate):
scientist/ producer/ specializing in dimensional navigation, elemental alchemy/ supreme geometrics
Unity (aka Young Precise or YP):
doctor/ emcee/ specializing in herbal remedies and immortality
philosopher/ emcee/ specializing in meditation, telekinesis and atomic energy
After three years of observation, the US government concludes that the Afro-Terrestrials are alien life forms from the Sirius Nebula. Through the use of the Merkaba, they travel through dimensions gathering information.
With their knowledge of ancient Kemetic (Egyptian) technology they have created both zero gravity transports, and zero visibility transparent transports. They have occupied our planet for the past 50,000+ years. It is speculated that there may be thousands if not millions of these beings hiding in the ghetto's and slum's of the America's, Africa and Asia.
We shall continue to monitor their activity and listen to their music for hidden codes and instruction.
"Out of This World" brings the space funk and drops it down, hard. The beats drip tech as the lyrics reference the genre, keeping the digital torch burning. It's always cool to hear hip-hop with some literature to it.
Lewis is offering the EP as the first of seven installments of free music, each with it's own separate theme, for fans to groove on until the end of 2011.