The Future of Hip​-​Hop

by Ensemble Mik Nawooj

supported by
Henry Wilson
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Henry Wilson Hip-hop is new to me, in a sense. I distinctly remember it was my favourite music when I was six years old, but I hadn't really listened to it since, until I found this. This is a stellar mix of well-strung lyrics, the rich and textured sounds of strings an piano, and expertly crafted dramatic rhythm. It's also almost entirely outside of my musical area of experience. Favorite track: Gz and Hustlas.
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Led by composer/pianist JooWan Kim, Ensemble Mik Nawooj, the 10 ten-piece Hip-Hop orchestra with MCs/lyricists Do D.A.T. and Sandman, a soprano, winds, strings, funky drums, and piano, injects classical compositional techniques into hip-hop. The result, “proves hip-hop is a complex art form” (Sac Bee) and has been “dropping jaws left and right with its mix of seemingly un-mixable genres” (OZY). Featured on this album is a reimagined deconstruction of California Soul as commissioned by ESPN for the network’s 2016 NFL Super Bowl programming.


released April 22, 2016

1. Black Swordsman
2. Gin and Juice
3. Gz and Hustlas
4. Last Donut
5. Shame on a Brother
6. EMN Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit
7. California Soul

Other info
Ensemble Mik Nawooj

Music Director, Composition, Piano, Moog - JooWan Kim
MCs, Lyricists - Do D.A.T. and Sandman
Soprano - Anne Hepburn Smith
Violin - Mia Bella D’Augelli
Cello - Lewis Patzner
Flute - Bethanne Walker, Carmen A. Lemoine (7)
Clarinet - James Pytko
Upright, Electric Bass - Eugene Theriault
Drums - Lyman Alexander, II

Gz and Hustlas call and response chorus by Do D.A.T., Sandman and Christopher Nicholas
Last Donut chorus by Christopher Nicholas
California Soul choir by Anne Hepburn Smith, JooWan Kim, Christopher Nicholas and Sandman

Recorded at ZooLabs (1-6, 8-13) and MegaSonic Sound (7), Oakland CA
Mixed by Brad Dollar, Peter Labberton, Andrew Erickson (1-4, 8-11) and Reto Peter (5-7, 12,13)
CD Exclusive clean edits by Jeremy Goody (8-11) and Reto Peter (12,13)
Mastered by Jeremy Goody

All music composed by JooWan Kim
All lyrics by Do D.A.T. and Sandman
All music produced by JooWan Kim and Christopher Nicholas

Special thanks to KPFA's Hard Knock Radio, KALX, Briana Carrera (7), Aquil Rasheed and King’s Gym in Oakland, CA

Photos by Pat Mazzera

Design by David Polka



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Ensemble Mik Nawooj Oakland, California

Led by composer & pianist JooWan Kim, Ensemble Mik Nawooj creates a pulsating hybrid of hip-hop & classical.

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