Ohio producer extraordinaire J. Rawls' Liquid Crystal Project, a jazz-hip hop fusion band, released a 7″ today that pays honor to the legendary Native Tongues group De La Soul on both sides. The group's 7″ features the track “A Tribute To De La” on the a-side and a rendition of “Stakes Is High” on the b-side. Renowned trumpet player Pharez Whitted, director of Jazz Studies at Chicago State University, plays on the single.
The Liquid Crystal Project smells a tad adult contemporary, but hip hop is growing up whether we like it or not. The LCP is not quite as free-wheelin' as Madlib's Yesterday's New Quintet, but having players like Whitted, who is regarded as one of the most highly talented players in our time, contribute to the conversation harkens back to De La's Buhloone Mindstate and hearing Maceo Parker blow the soul out of his horn.
The Liquid Crystal Project 3 is out early 2012 and expect a 3.5 version soon featuring contributions from guest singers and rappers.