The long-awaited final track of the N.A.S.A. record is finally complete and features “Gifted” a groundbreaking collaboration between Kanye West, Lykke Li and Santogold. The full track listing for the February 17, 2009 release is below.
Furthermore, the first video for the record, “Money” has been created with visual artist Shepard Fairey and will be released this December.
Characteristically, N.A.S.A. is more than just a record. The enthusiasm and connections of Sam Spiegel and Ze Gonzales cannot be contained by a single album, so the project has naturally expanded into other mediums.
A full-length documentary film is nearing completion, including interviews with many of the artists who contributed to The Spirit of Apollo and behind-the-scenes footage from the studio sessions. Highlights include fun at Sizzla’s compound in Jamaica, Method Man showing off his magic tricks and the altered consciousness of the George Clinton recording session.
In addition, other N.A.S.A. friends have lent their visual talents, and animated music videos for several of The Spirit of Apollo’s tracks have been created with original artwork by some of today’s most highly-regarded artists such as Shepard Fairey, Sage Vaughn, Mark Gonzalez, Barry McGee, The Date Farmers, Splunny, Marcel Dzama and others. The artists were paired with directors and animators who brought their images to life on the screen. To add to the cross-medium collaboration, artwork from Fairey, Vaughn, Gonzalez, Dzama and The Date Farmers is being incorporated into the record cover art and packaging.
While N.A.S.A. stands for North America/South America and contains a number of superstar artists from both coasts of the US, it is about as far from a tension-building geographical showdown as a record can get. Rather, The Spirit of Apollo was born with the righteous goal of bringing people together through music and art, and that is exactly what masterminds Sam Spiegel (Squeak E Clean) and Ze Gonzales (DJ Zegon) have done.
Unexpected collaborations abound on the seventeen track release. Tom Waits growls over Kool Keith, Karen O taunts while Ol’ Dirty Bastard gives shoutouts to Wu Tang and N.A.S.A from the grave, and David Byrne, Chuck D and others expound on the evils of “Money.” In spite of the range of performers, the pairings seem organic, inspired and make perfect sense on the first listen, never coming off as ironic or impulsive. Spiegel explains that the tracks themselves dictated who would be approached to lend a voice, revealing the larger vision behind the project: “we never said, ‘let’s make a track for this person.’ We’d usually make something we liked, and then as we were starting to write the song, it would tend to go in a direction that we’d be like, ‘this sounds like George Clinton,’ or ‘this sounds like Method Man.’ We would start to feel the song out, and feel the artist through the song as we did it. Basically, we’d sit around as we were making these tracks and say the nuttiest combination of names, like our dream of who we could get on the song. It’s crazy, a lot of times they actually happened.”
N.A.S.A. The Spirit of Apollo tracklist:
2. The People Tree (feat. David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift Of Gab & Z-Trip)
3. Money (feat. David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge, & Z-Trip)
4. N.A.S.A. Music (feat. Method Man, E-40, & DJ Swamp)
5. Way Down (feat. RZA, Barbie Hatch, & John Frusciante)
6. Hip Hop (feat. KRS-One, Fatlip, & Slim Kid Tre)
7. Four Rooms, Earth View
8. Strange Enough (feat. Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, & Fatlip)
9. Spacious Thoughts (feat. Tom Waits & Kool Keith)
10. Gifted (feat. Kanye West, Santogold & Lykke Li)
11. A Volta (feat. Sizzla, Amanda Blank, & Lovefoxxx)
12. There’s A Party (feat. George Clinton & Chali 2na)
13. Whachadoin? (feat. Spank Rock, M.I.A., Santogold, & Nick Zinner)
14. O Pato (feat. Kool Kojak & DJ Babão)
15. Samba Soul (feat. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien & DJ Qbert)
16. The Mayor (feat. The Cool Kids, Ghostface Killah, Scarface & DJ AM)
17. N.A.S.A. Anthem