Levi’s has enlisted a dozen influential musicians of different genres to launch their 2010 Pioneer Sessions; a platform allowing ‘pioneering’ artists to re-craft a song that has inspired them(available as a free download). With a list consisting of Raphael Saadiq, Jason Mraz, John Legend & The Roots, The Shins, Colbie Caillat and Bomba Estereo – Levi’s asked rapper Nas to get things crackin’ first with a cover of Slick Rick’s classic “Hey Young World”.
Nas doesn’t possess Rick’s comic sensibility, but he did inherit from Rick a keen sense for the way precise detail and carefully chosen perspective can enrich a short story, the kind that populated Illmatic and his subsequent work. Nas’ re-crafting of “Hey Young World” is true to its source, though its harder, metallic edges suggest a bluntness caused by twenty-plus years without progress.
The remaining 11 artists will have their music released periodically throughout the rest of the year and each song is paired with exclusive photos, behind-the-scenes video and additional content celebrating the importance and influence it has across generations.