Wu-Tang Clan member GZA has teamed up with Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello to produce “The Mexican”, a new, non-album single.
Recently performed by GZA and Morello on "The Tonight Show", "The Mexican" is an updated cover of Babe Ruth's 1972 song of the same name that has been sampled numerous times, and was written and produced by Alan Shacklock, Audio Technology Department Chair at SAE Institute Nashville.
“I discovered news about GZA and Tom’s project online, and it's incredible,” says Shacklock. “My sons Jesse aka DJ Kidsmeal, who’s a SAE Nashville alumni, and Sam Shacklock aka DJ SOSA are big Wu-Tang fans, and Morello is one of the most innovative guitarist of the new millennium. Their interpretation of ‘The Mexican’ is inventive and fantastic.”
According to Shacklock, “The Mexican” was – and continues to be - a total enigma.
“I composed it while I was in my last year at the Royal Academy of Music in London where I was studying classical guitar and orchestration, and I put Babe Ruth together to try out my compositions,” says Shacklock. “Our sound was a combination of classical music, Motown, Western film scores, and progressive rock, and we eventually got signed to Harvest Records, which was also the label for Pink Floyd and Electric Light Orchestra. The song’s success has been very flattering, and it’s been sampled legally and illegally more times that I know!”
Artists that have utilized “The Mexican” in their productions include Jellybean Benitez, Pete Rock, N.E.R.D., Sugar Ray, R. Kelly, The Prodigy, Helloween, Deekline, and Ghostface Killah. The song is regarded by international music critics and historians as being the defining anthem of hip hop culture. It was an essential component of the late 70s and early 80s breakdance scene in the Bronx, New York as a result of its ubiquitous usage by legendary DJs Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, and Kool Herc.
Babe Ruth reunited last summer for a performance at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, which is billed as “the world’s largest music festival”. The band had a huge following in the Midwest in the 70s, and artists such as ZZ Top, Humble Pie, and Roxy Music were their opening acts.
Along with his responsibilities at SAE Nashville, Shacklock is working on projects with legendary bluegrass artist and legend Tina Adair, Nashville-based rockers The Protomen, a Tex-Mex release by The Gringos, and a new Babe Ruth album that’s slated for a summer ’15 release – just in time for the band’s concerts in Quebec in July.
“When our students learn of Alan’s successful career with Babe Ruth as a band member, songwriter, engineer, and producer, they’re always impressed,” says Lynn Dorton, Campus Director of SAE Institute Nashville. “The fact that GZA and Tom Morello consider ‘The Mexican’ a classic track that’s worth covering adds even more cache to Alan’s brand as an esteemed educator and a resource of invaluable industry and creative knowledge.”
SAE Institute provides aspiring creative media professionals with a foundation of practical theory and valuable hands-on training in their chosen areas of concentration. Under the guidance of our faculty, which is comprised of working industry professionals, students gain the essential experience they need for entry-level jobs in the entertainment business. Our students are supported in their job searches by SAE’s international network of alumni, many of whom are leaders in the music, film, game arts, and live performance arenas. We offer programs in audio technology across our seven US campuses, along with a music business program at select locations, all fully accredited and focused on preparing students for employment when they graduate. Bachelor’s Degree programs in Animation, Audio, Film, Game Art & Graphic Design are available at the two locations of Ex’pression College, which is owned and operated by SAE Institute Group, Inc. SAE Institute Group, Inc. is a part of Navitas LTD. Learn more at USA.sae.edu.
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