Paul Simon Collaborates With Hip Hop Producers On Airy New Remix

paulsimon-bannerI recently went way out on the tip of a limb to nominate “He not busy being born is busy dying” as being part of the greatest verse in Rock history. One of the reasons I think that line carries so much power is that it applies to everybody in every stage of life, but it becomes more and more important as you get older. It is always easy to tell as time goes on who lives by this credo and who doesn’t.

As they did for so many things, our Rock idols can often set an example and show us the way forward when it comes to living creatively and gracefully in our later years. On the other hand you’ve got the sad stories of guys like Jimmy Page, who in a recent news item appears to have gone off the deep end, spying on a neighbor’s estate like a crazy old man.

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I commented that it was too bad Jimmy Page hasn’t kept himself busy with new musical projects and explorations like his former partner Robert Plant has. Plant is one of the Rock forefathers who keeps busy moving forward, trying new things. Just this year alone he, along with guys like Paul Simon and Iggy Pop, have released new material representing new directions for their respective sounds. These guys are doing it the right way – still exploring, still taking risks.

Paul Simon dropped one of the best albums of the year this summer, a wild sonic mélange of streetwise acoustic wisdom, electronic beats and found sound. But I guess even that wasn’t enough for a searching soul like Simon’s, so he’s co-operated with a hot Hip Hop producing team on a remix mashing together a couple of songs from the album, and I just love it.

Nico Segal and Nate Fox are known collectively as the Social Experiment, famous for working with perhaps the most melodic rapper around, Chance The Rapper. They took Simon’s songs “Werewolf” and “The Clock” and combined them together to create something new. Segal, who was formerly known as Donnie Trumpet, throws some probing trumpet lines on top of Simon’s instrumental “Clock”, and they take out the polyrhythmic percussion on “Werewolf” in favor of some nice fat electronic flourishes. It works beautifully. Just goes to show you how many good things happen when you keep busy being born.

Photo credit: By Matthew Straubmuller (imatty35) –, CC BY 2.0,

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