DJ Shadow - Systematic

I can think of a lot of scenarios where the outcome is “Nas possibly releasing new music,” but the fourth season of Silicon Valley never crossed my mind. Why would it? Nothing about tech geeks and start-ups really scream Queens hip hop to me, but someone out there -- a lowly HBO scrub who thinks up fire collabs on his downtime, probably -- thought that DJ Shadow and Nas would make gold. And uh, dude was kinda right. Thus, We Are: The Guard encourage binge-ing Silicon Valley, and their upcoming soundtrack as well. Listen to “Systematic” below.



Both DJ Shadow and Nas have been making music since I was born (OHHH MAN, FEEL OLD YET?), yet this is their first collaboration EVER. And do you know what my favorite aspect about DJ Shadow is? He crafts his beats and instrumentals in tune with whoever he’s partnering up with at the time. Choosing a right ambience is his gift, and in “Systematic”’s case, the funky backdrop to Nas’ expert flow is the perfect touch to this track.

The groovy bass and whimsical electronic blips (is that a slide whistle I hear?) would have felt as fresh and polished back in the ‘90s as it does right now. “Systematic” naturally feels timeless, and evidence that while some juggernaut musicians fade away, some just get better with time. There have been missed opportunities all these years, but hey, at least we’ve been gifted with the DJ Shadow and Nas pairing now. Better late than never?

HBO’s Silicon Valley premiered this past week, and its official soundtrack will be released in two months. I’m expecting more solid songs like this from the show. Keep listening/watching.