Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, Kamasi Washington, and 9th Wonder debuted their new supergroup, Dinner Party, with an effortlessly smooth, but lyrically pointed track, “Freeze Tag.” The song will appear on Dinner Party’s self-titled debut album, out July 10th via Sounds of Crenshaw/Empire.
“Freeze Tag” boasts a tasteful groove anchored by shuffling drums and sweeping guitars — and accentuated with occasional horn riffs. But the upbeat instrumental is balanced by a tender vocal performance from Chicago’s Phoelix, whose lyrics deftly tackle systemic racism and police brutality: “They told me put my hands up behind my head,” he sings during the hook. “I think they got the wrong one/I’m sick and tired of runnin’/I’ve been searching where the love went.”
Dinner Party came together while Martin and Glasper — who first met way back in 1996 at a jazz band camp — were touring with Glasper’s R+R=NOW project. The core idea was to tap into elements of jazz and soul, but root the new group in hip-hop. To bring it all together, Martin enlisted fellow saxophonist Washington and storied hip-hop producer 9th Wonder. Dinner Party recorded their debut album at Chalice Studios in Los Angeles at the end of 2019.