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The Black Keys and Blakroc

blakroc album coverWell, the rumours have been confirmed. The Black Keys’ collaborations with notable hip hop artists including the RZA, Jim Jones, Mos Def, Pharoah Monch, Q-Tip, Ludacris, ODB, Billy Danze of M.O.P., Noe and Nicole Wray are being released in an album on November 27, 2009.

How the album, recorded over 11 days with 11 artists, pans out is going to be very interesting. There’s only a brief snippet of the recordings over at blakroc.com (and below).

You can also listen to the track Hoochie Coo mp3 here featuring Mos Def, Jim Jones and The Black Keys.

The album is not such a surprising development considering The Black Keys long held love all things hip hop previously documented here on The Black Keys Fan Lounge. How interesting to see the respect is mutual considering the ‘Keys were on a primarily hip hop line up at The Roots Picnic.

How very cool it is to see The RZA on there, who this website has long hoped would work with the band. He’s a veritable music svengali, alike Dan ready to branch out and take educated risks. For Dan and Pat, who are such big Wu-Tang fans from their high school days, it must have been like their musical lives had turned full circle.

Consider also how Damon Dash, the Blakroc producer, was turned onto The Black Keys:

My assistants, who are now actually A&Rs, were going to a Black Keys concert for their birthday and I wasn’t invited,” he explained. “Usually on their birthdays we all do it together and the reason why I wasn’t invited was because the concert was sold out . And I had never heard of The Black Keys and I was like y’all still gonna go without me. And they was like ‘Yo it’s The Black Keys.” So I was like, lemme hear this group. So I start listening to them and they actually became my favorite group. They were on heavy rotation so we just reached out and we kicked it with them and I was like, ‘I wonder what would happen if we got Jim Jones and the Keys in the studio’ and Jim came in and all of a sudden Mos came in and then [it] just built from there.

Make sure you sign up to Blakroc.com and check out the full length trailer. With such slick production values on the video, and emotive black and white photography of all the artists, clearly this whole project will surely end up as either a stand alone documentary or deluxe cd edition filler.

Every week (friday) there is going to be a new webisode released onto the site. Dam tasty behind the scenes action. Here’s webisode 1:

Blakroc short trailer:


blakroc

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A new Black Keys album is being recorded this August for release around March 2010.

With any new album there’s always an expectation from fans. Will it be better than the last? Better than their first? What will it sound like? Who will help produce it?

In order to help answer at least one of those questions, I thought it might be worthwhile polling fans.

I’ve noted some obvious candidates below who might be producing the album.

I’ve always hoped The RZA might be asked to produce.

Considering The Black Keys are playing The Roots Picnic in June 09, I thought The Roots’ drummer ?uestlove might be an outside chance.

Danger Mouse of course produced the last album.

Rick Rubin is interested in the band through the proposed ZZ Top collaboration.

Most albums have of course been self-produced by Dan and Pat. Considering their growing popularity The Black keys will surely be under pressure to use a noted producer or music identity again.

I also think there might be another choice from left field if you read between the lines in some Black Keys interviews.

Don’t be shy, have your say.

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