Kamasi Washington Shares Video for “Street Fighter Mas”

Heaven and Earth Due Out This Friday via Young Turks

Jun 20, 2018
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Jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington is releasing a double album, Heaven and Earth, this Friday via Young Turks. Previously he shared its first two singles, "Fists of Fury" (a cover of the theme to the Bruce Lee film) and "The Space Travelers Lullaby" (they were our joint #1 Song of the Week), which was followed by a third single, "Street Fighter Mas" (which was also one of our Songs of the Week). Now he has shared a video for "Street Fighter Mas." A.G. Rojas directed the video, which includes Washington playing the classic Street Fighter game and also features Street Fighter legends Gootecks and Combofiend, along with Kevin Gilliam (aka Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre collaborator BattleCat). Check it out below, followed by his upcoming tour dates.

Rojas had this to say about the video in a press release: "I love inhabiting Kamasi's world, and 'Street Fighter Mas' was an opportunity to take a left turn and explore the surreal qualities of that world. When Kamasi told me the background of the song, how Street Fighter was a safe space for him-it took me back to the supermarket down the street from my childhood home where my brother and I would try and get in as many games before our mother was finished shopping. It was a true labor of love for everyone involved, coming from a desire to interpret the cinematic qualities of the track into something equally unpredictable, familiar, absurd and ultimately triumphant."

Washington had this to say about the song in a previous press release: "When I was younger, I was in between the end of the arcade generation and the beginning of the console generation. We used to go to this place called Rexall to play Street Fighter. At Rexall, there would be different people from different hoods there playing the game. It was the one place that was like an equalizer. It was just about how good you were at Street Fighter...for the most part. In other places, you were afraid of these dudes; there, you would just play the game and it was what it was, you know? I was really good at Street Fighter, so where the song really came from was me jokingly saying I was going to have my own theme song so that when I showed up to play Street Fighter they'd play my theme song before I came in, like a boxer. In the context of the album, it was the connection that we got with those guys in our neighborhood. We used to call them OGs, the older guys that we looked up to. 

"In a lot of ways, for me, video games was the way I connected with them because I was never affiliated with any gangs, but I knew them and I was cool with them and that was mainly through the video games. At an older age I thought how amazing would it be if the OGs could just play the game and solve their problems that way. The meaning within the scope of the record is a connection to the past and all of the many ways we can connect."

Washington had this to say about the album in a previous press release: "'The world that my mind lives in, lives in my mind.' This idea inspired me to make this album Heaven and Earth. The reality we experience is a mere creation of our consciousness, but our consciousness creates this reality based on those very same experiences. We are simultaneously the creators of our personal universe and creations of our personal universe. The Earth side of this album represents the world as I see it outwardly, the world that I am a part of. The Heaven side of this album represents the world as I see it inwardly, the world that is a part of me. Who I am and the choices I make lie somewhere in between."

Heaven and Earth includes a new arrangement of jazz and bebop legend Freddie Hubbard's "Hubtones." Bandmate Ryan Porter also contributed one song. The album also features Thundercat, Terrace Martin, Ronald Bruner, Jr., Cameron Graves, Brandon Coleman, Miles Mosley, Patrice Quinn, Tony Austin, and others.

Washington's last full-length album was 2015's The Epic, although last year he released the Harmony of Difference EP. Despite being a jazz musician, Washington has crossed over to indie rock and hip-hop fans thanks to collaborations with St. Vincent, Ibeyi, Thundercat, Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Run the Jewels, and others.

Kamasi Washington Tour Dates:

June 23 - Pasadena, CA - Arroyo Seco
June 24 - Vancouver, BC - Queen Elizabeth Theatre
June 25 - Saskatoon, SK - Saskatchewan Jazz Festival
June 29 - Waitsfield, VT - Friendly Gathering
June 30 - Montreal, Quebec - Festival International de Jazz de Montreal
July 12 - Berkeley, CA - Greek Theater‡
July 25 - Detroit, MI - Chene Park Amphitheater
August 4 - Dublin, Ireland - Beatyard Festival
August 5 - Oxfordshire, U.K. - Wilderness Festival
August 7 - Mainz, Germany - Frankfurter Hof Mainz @ Zitadelle Mainz
August 9 - Antwerp, Belgium - Jazz Middelheim
August 10 - Copenhagen, Denmark - HAVEN
August 11 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Way Out West
August 12 - Helsinki, Finland - FLOW
August 17-19 - Tokyo, Japan - Summer Sonic Festival
October 17 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox
October 18 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
October 19 - San Francisco, CA - TBA
October 20 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Fremont Theater
October 22 - Santa Fe, NM - Meow Wolf
October 24 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Complex
October 25 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up
October 26 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
October 27 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater
October 29 - Kansas City, MO - The Truman
October 31 - Iowa City, IA - The Englert Theatre
November 1 - Minneapolis, MN - TBA
November 2 - Madison, WI - TBA
November 3 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre
November 5 - Toronto, CA - Sony Centre for The Performing Arts
November 7 - Portland, ME - State Theatre
November 8 - Boston, MA - Royale
November 9 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
November 10 - Washington D.C. - Lincoln Theatre
November 14 - Richmond, VA - The National
November 15 - Raleigh, NC - The Ritz
November 16 - Nashville, TN - Marathon Music Works
November 17 - Atlanta, GA - Buckhead Theatre

*with Vulfpeck
‡with Sylvan Esso

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