The GZA breathes new air and about 140% more lyrics (135 words vs 328 words) into a classic from the ‘70s with the cover of “The Mexican” as a one-off single. The original song by the progressive blues rock group, Babe Ruth, samples Ennio Morricone’s “For A Few Dollars More” from the Clint Eastwood Western set in a Mexican village. In The GZA’s version, we learn a lot more about Fernandez and why it’s a “sad morning”.
How would the founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan get this cover off the ground, you ask? Well The GZA enlisted other geniuses from all corners of music for this project. Tom Morello and Hanni El Khatib are on guitar. Tom was a Harvard grad before working with Rage Against the Machine and many other notable musicians. Hani is a multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter from Oakland. Ruban Nielson of New Zealand’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra is on percussion. Isamu McGregor and Jose “Choco” Reynoso are on keyboards. The vocals are attributed to “anonymous” but it sounds a lot like Santigold, who sounds a lot like the original, Janita (Jenny) Haan.
One may get smarter listening to The Genius too. An analysis showed that The GZA has the second most vast vocabulary in hip hop- with 6,426 unique words (via M.Daniels) on Liquid Sword.
Hear and download the pumped-up GZA version of “The Mexican” below:
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