Baltimore rapper and songwriter Naeem, formerly known as Spank Rock, has announced his debut album, Startisha, for a June 12 release. In advance and celebration of the upcoming album he released the single “Simulation,” featuring soul and R&B legend Swamp Dogg and indie folk mainstay Bon Iver’s frontman Justin Vernon.
“I had been reading a few books, such as Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art, and they helped me solidify feelings I’ve had all of my life about surviving a society of institutions that presents fictions as fact, and often use these fictions to diminish my worth, or to convince me to join their gangs,” Naeem said about the track. “I wrote this song to remind myself, and hopefully everyone that hears it, that nothing is real, and our greatest defense in this life is our own creativity, and finding great faith in whatever sigils and icons we choose to guide us.”
While Naeem released several albums with a range of producers as Spank Rock, this collaboration is something of a new debut. Per the Brooklyn Vegan, this album is his first in partnership with Vernon and his partner Aaron Dessner of The National as producers under the banner of their 37d03d collaboration. The album featured a multi-state recording process, with work done in Philadelphia, New York and Vernon’s home studio in Minneapolis. Along with artists already mentioned, it features performances and contributions from Velvet Negroni, Francis and the Lights, Ryan Olson, Amanda Blank and Micah James.
Startisha will be released June 12. The nine-track album will include the below songs and artwork.
1. You & I
2. Simulation (Feat. Swamp Dogg & Justin Vernon)
3. Let Us Rave (Feat. Velvet Negroni)
4. Woo Woo Woo (Feat. Amanda Blank, Micah James)
6. Stone Harbour
7. Right Here
9. Tiger Song
Photo Credit: Pamela Lin