Legendary rapper, hip-hop producer, and founding member of the influential collective Diggin’ In The Crates Crew (D.I.T.C.), Lord Finesse is back with his most ambitious project to date: Motown State of Mind, a set of handpicked Motown classics remixed and reimagined. The inspired new remix album will be available to stream on June 26 via Motown/UMe and the remix of Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” is available to stream now (available here).
In true DJ style, the remixes will also be released as a 45 RPM box set on July 24 containing seven 7-inch records on black vinyl featuring the remixed version on Side A and the classic original on Side B. In support of the release, there will be digital activations throughout June including livestreams and IG live takeovers from Motown’s various handles.
Curated and arranged for the new generation, going back to the original masters/sources, the remixes include chart-toppers such as Michael Jackson’s “I Wanna Be Where You Are” and DeBarge’s “I Like It” alongside deep cuts from Motown’s catalog like Sisters Love’s “Now Is The Time.”
“Now Is The Time” is a unique track as it was originally recorded in 1970 and in 1973 the group recorded a version of the song which was produced by Willie Hutch and appeared in the movie The Mack, but was never officially released. As an ode to the 1973 version, Lord Finesse and J Zone (producer, drummer, multi-instrumentalist, rapper, and writer) recreate the song as if it was released that year. The instrumental version of the track will be included as the B-side in the 45 box set.
The reimagined versions also feature collaborations from the likes of Dinky Bingham (the CEO of production/publishing company Dinky B. Music and a producer of gold and platinum hits for artists such as Changing Faces, New Edition, Kylie Minogue and Jaheim) as well as producer Tall Black Guy (who’s worked with artists such as Gilles Peterson, Lefto, Anthony Valadez, Jazzy Jeff, Questlove, amongst others).
Lord Finesse classifies the remixes to be his “best project to date.” “I’m my own worst critic. If I like it, I don’t think no one can really tell me anything,” he explains. With that in mind, Finesse closes out the album with a mastermind remix of the critically acclaimed Jackson 5 medley “I Want You Back/ABC/The Love You Save.” The standalone singles of those three original aforementioned tracks, alongside the release of their fourth single “I’ll Be There,” made the group the first to debut with four consecutive number one hits on Billboard’sHot 100.