Street Date: June 22, 2018
Kamasi Washington's sophomore album Heaven and Earth is the sequel to his critically acclaimed debut The Epic, and consists of two halves where the groundbreaking artist explores the realities and cosmic themes of life. The album is about Washington's settlement with today's global chaotic states, as well as his vision for the future. Heaven and Earth not only fulfills its overarching ambition, but illustrates the dialectic between seen and unseen, real and imagined, citizen and culture, self and self, as well as self and other, and does so through the lens of a mature but never jaded revolutionary consciousness. Washington gathered his band, The Next Step, along with members of the well-established collective The West Coast Get Down in Henson Studios in Los Angeles to record the album's 16 tracks.
The artist's own words best convey the inspiration behind this monolith of an album: "The world that my mind lives in, lives in my mind. This idea inspired me to make this album Heaven and Earth. The reality we experience is a mere creation of our consciousness, but our consciousness creates this reality based on those very same experiences. We are simultaneously the creators of our personal universe and creations of our personal universe. The Earth side of this album represents the world as I see it outwardly, the world that I am a part of. The Heaven side of this album represents the world as I see it inwardly, the world that is a part of me. Who I am and the choices I make lie somewhere in between."