Rapper Freddie Gibbs shared a cover of “Winter in America” off the 1974 album of the same name from poet-musician Gil Scott-Heron and keyboardist Brian Jackson. Gibbs made the cover for The Undefeated’s new Black History Always / Music for the Movement Vol. 2 EP.
Gibbs’ cover gives a hip-hop and R&B spin on Scott-Heron’s jazzy original piece. The instrumentals are incredibly groovy and chilled, and Gibbs’ smooth vocals complete the cover, which was produced by Leon Michels. Despite its initial release in 1974, the themes in “Winter in America” of unstable democracy and racism are still ever-present today, as Gibbs reminds us.
Listen to Gibbs’ take on “Winter in America” here:
The single was found on the EP Black History Always / Music for the Movement Vol. 2 for the Black History Month series from The Undefeated, a pop culture and sports website from ESPN which specifically reports on stories of the intersection of race, sports and culture. For this EP, The Undefeated also partnered with Hollywood Records. The EP also featured other artists such as Tinashe on “I’m Every Woman”, Tobe Nwigwe on “Wake Up Everybody”, Brent Faiyaz with “Eden” and Infinity Song with “Undefeated”.
Gibbs, a native of Gary, Indiana, released the album Alfredo with producer The Alchemist last September. The record was well-received by fans and found its way onto mxdwn’s Top Albums of 2020. The rapper recently freestyled over two tracks from Madlib and Four Tet’s Sound Ancestors released last month. Gibbs also shared his latest track and music video, “Gang Signs” featuring ScHoolboy Q.
Photo credit; Stephen Hoffmeister