Not every artist can pull off making art that depicts the making of the art ― the balance of sincerity and levity it requires to feel original is tricky. But that balance has become the signature style of jazz instrumentalist, producer, emcee and vocalist Kassa Overall. His talent for half-seriousness appears too in the name of his most recent mixtape series: SHADES OF FLU, both a reference to Madlib’s mass remixing of the Blue Note Records vault and an obvious nod to the alternate pandemic reality we’ve lived in for the last two years.
Directed by Portland filmmaker Noah Porter, Overall’s new music video for the SHADES OF FLU single ‘I’m a King’ makes his Blue Note Records fandom visible as well as audible. The historic Rudy Van Gelder studio, where many legendary Blue Note (and Prestige, and Impulse!, and Verve) records were cut, serves as the perfect backdrop for the song itself: a groove-heavy churn of mid-tempo hip-hop with an emphasis on acoustic bass and horns, making it one of the jazziest things he’s ever made.