Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and Adrian Younge, known for his collaborations with Ghostface Killah, among others, released a pretty, meditative soul instrumental titled “Black Beacon” on Friday. The track will appear on the pair’s upcoming joint album, The Midnight Hour.
“Black Beacon” reaches back to the Seventies, when orchestral soul was at its peak. Strings shimmer and throb for nearly a minute before the song starts to amble forward. The bass plays somber funk riffs, while the horns add an occasional melodic flourish. “Black Beacon” ends like it started, with a wave of quivering strings.
In a statement, Shaheed Muhammad and Younge called “Black Beacon” “a call to action for our brothers and sisters to unite against police brutality, inequality and social injustice.” “Like our jazz forefathers of the civil rights movement,” they added, “we’re using our horns for unity.”
Shaheed Muhammad and Younge first collaborated on Bay Area hip-hop veterans Souls of Mischief’s album There Is Only Now. The two men later worked together on the score for Netflix’s Marvel show Luke Cage.
The Midnight Hour is due out on June 8th. The second season of Luke Cage, featuring more of Shaheed Muhammad and Younge’s scoring work, arrives June 22th.