Jazz maestro Kamasi Washington will release his new double album, Heaven and Earth, in just under one month’s time. After previewing the 16-track collection with the songs “Fists of Fury” and “The Space Travelers Lullaby”, he’s back today with another taste of Heaven entitled, “Street Fighter Mas”.
And yes, that’s a reference to the classic fighting video game. According to a statement, a young Washington used to go to the Rexall arcade in his neighborhood and do battle with the local OGs on Street Fighter. “It was the one place that was like an equalizer. It was just about how good you were at Street Fighter… for the most part,” Washington said. “In other places, you were afraid of these dudes; there, you would just play the game and it was what it was, you know?” He continued,
“In a lot of ways, for me, video games was the way I connected with them because I was never affiliated with any gangs, but I knew them and I was cool with them and that was mainly through the video games. At an older age I thought how amazing would it be if the OGs could just play the game and solve their problems that way. The meaning within the scope of the record is a connection to the past and all of the many ways we can connect.”
Take a listen to “Street Fighter Mas”, which Washington envisions as his arcade entrance music, below.
Washington also shared a preview of the A.G. Rojas-directed video for the track, which you can watch below.
Heaven and Earth is out June 22nd. Washington is currently previewing the effort on his European tour, after which he’ll head out on a full North American summer/fall trek. He also has a few dates lined up in October playing with Florence and The Machine, on whose upcoming High as Hope he appears.