We live strange times, times that see the Stooges recording with the likes of Ariel Pink instead of Iggy Pop and times that see a collaboration between Frank Ocean, The Clash (Paul Simonon, Mick Jones) and Diplo! Talk about strangeness…It is actually part of Converse’s Three Artists, One Song series, and the song is called ‘Hero’. It starts like a doo-wop oldies with Ocean’s soulful voice and the Clash’ s reverb jam guitars, then a lot is going on, more layers are added, and if it’s difficult to know who is exactly responsible of what, Diplo has certainly sprinkled the track with electronic tidbits. But the surprise is this children’s choir (the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir to be exact) which suddenly explodes and opens up the song to another dimension, wrapping Ocean’s croon. I don’t know how these people exactly got together, but Diplo had this to say about the collaboration:
‘The Clash were always teachers to me, even before I shared a studio with Paul and Mick. Their musical anarchy and constant attitude to disregard rules and forge their own path was inspirational to me. They meant death to genres, music and message above everything. Frank lives by the same creed in being married to his vision and seeing it through at any cost. We had to challenge each other to make something that we hope no one could expect and Converse valued everyone’s artistic freedom to let us shine throughout the past few months to make this thing happen.’
And I must say this is quite an interesting song, I like it and it’s even a bit too short, I am asking for more! But according to Rolling Stone, they recorded much more than that as ‘Hero’ was only one of five tracks recorded at Damon Albarn’s London studio. The song is totally Clash’s approved as Jones and Simonon explained to the magazine, and Diplo added they don’t know what they will do with the other tracks, ‘May be we’ll give them to Madonna’, he joked. I certainly hope they don’t.