A Tribe Called Quest Musician Tells Hip-Hop Artists to Put Down the Sampler and Pick Up a Bass, Here's Why...

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today released a new short film – “Artform” – created in collaboration with Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge, highlighting The Midnight Hour pair’s musical journey through the lens of hip-hop. Inspired by iconic records and driven to explore their own sound, these two prolific producers share their creative roadmap and studio secrets - encouraging today’s creators to pick up an instrument and discover their identity through music. In a musical age where sampling remains king, the film shines a light on how live instruments, like guitar and bass, are used in unexpected ways to create music in hip-hop, R&B, funk and jazz. With even more of today’s musicians turning to guitar and bass as creative tools, Fender is turning to creators, like Younge and Shaheed Muhammad, to help tell and amplify their stories.

In tandem with the short film debut, The Midnight Hour and Fender are releasing very Limited-Edition Signature Precision Bass guitars, available for purchase exclusively HERE, beginning November 2. “The Precision Bass is an extremely soulful statement piece. It cuts through the track, but also sits in the track” said Younge. Completely unique and reflective of The Midnight Hour band’s unique style, the bass features key modifications, such as a purple sparkle lacquer finish, purple shell pickguard and gold pickup cover, hardware and neck plate engraved with “The Midnight Hour.”

Shot at Younge’s record store (The Artform Studio) and studio (Linear Labs) in Highland Park, the 23-minute short film takes viewers behind the scenes of the pair’s creative inspiration and musical process creating with traditional instruments. For both, who have collaborated with the likes of Cee Lo Green, Raphael Saadiq and more, learning to play ultimately opened up opportunities for live performance, as well as scoring and producing soundtracks for movies and TV shows, like Marvel’s “Luke Cage.” Interwoven throughout are studio tips and tricks, as the pair dives deep into the recording of “Redenph in B-Minor” – a track from The Midnight Hour’s self-titled 2018 soul/jazz/hip-hop album.

“My journey started with hearing hip-hop producers sample from the greatest records,” said composer and producer Adrian Younge. “It served as a conduit to the past and introduced me to the classic sounds and instruments used to create these records. We made this film to encourage today’s hip-hop artists to close the laptop, put down the sampler and spend time creating with live instruments, like the guitar and bass. What we can accomplish as musicians is limitless when we dig deep and uncover where these sounds come from.”

“Whatever you sampled on the record, that was it,” added Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest, whose first instrument was the turntable. “That was the extent of what could be built upon. That was cool, but I wanted to have my own artistic freedom and thoughts. That’s what inspired me to learn to play an instrument, go deeper than those samples, make my own and resample those.”

The short film is also accompanied by a nine-minute bonus episode, in which Shaheed Muhammad and Younge – along with musician and producer Jack Waterson (Green On Red) – talk through the gear, different instruments and combinations they use to color tone.

“We feel it’s so important to amplify the voices of creators and artists across genres,” said Jeremy “JT” Taylor, Vice President, Global Brand Creative. “Guitar is thriving and essential to the creators and artists of today and tomorrow. If an artist has a story to tell, we want to help them amplify it.”

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Limited Edition Midnight Hour Precision Bass - $2,250.00

Completely unique and reflective of The Midnight Hour’s playing style, this alder-bodied bass features key modifications, such as a purple sparkle gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish, purple shell pickguard and Pure Vintage '63 Split-Coil Precision Bass® pickups. The 34”-scale "1963 C" maple neck bears a 9.5”-radius round-lam rosewood fingerboard, along with 20 vintage-tall frets and a bone nut. Other unique touches include a vintage-style heel-adjust truss rod and nut, as well as gold hardware throughout, including Pure Vintage reverse open-gear tuning machines; vintage-style bridge with 4 threaded steel saddles; knurled flat-top master volume and tone knobs; and a pickup cover and a neck plate engraved with “The Midnight Hour.”

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ABOUT FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION:

Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®, follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest quality instruments and musical solutions across genres. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of music through electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers, pro audio, accessories and digital products that inspire and enable musical expression at every stage, from beginners to history-making legends.

ABOUT LINEAR LABS:

The brainchild of producer Adrian Younge, Linear Labs Records is a Los Angeles-based label born out of vinyl culture and the dizzying array of music released during the format’s peak years. The label focuses on creating new progressive music with a cultivated compositional perspective and a higher quality sonic palette.

- Facebook: Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Linear Labs Music

- Twitter: @adrianyounge @alishaheed @linearlabs

- Instagram: @adrianyounge @alishaheed @linearlabsmusic

ABOUT THE MIDNIGHT HOUR:

After years of produced releases and jam sessions, A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad and composer Adrian Younge formed The Midnight Hour in 2018 and released a 20-track album of the same name that bathes fans in an elixir of hip-hop, R&B and jazz. Younge and Muhammad first teamed up in 2013 on a Souls of Mischief album, and later joined forces to score Marvel's Luke Cage series.

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