On May 12th Mos Def and Ben Jaffe got together to write a song for Gulf Aid, a benefit for those affected by the oil spill
This musical collaboration features the GULF AID ALL-STARS: New Orleans’ own Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Trombone Shorty collaborating with Lenny Kravitz, Tim Robbins and Mos Def. The song–an updated version of a 1960s New Orleans Mardi Gras standard originally written by Joseph Smokey Johnson (who also recorded the track) and Wardell Joseph Quezergue–features updated lyrics by Mos Def and Preservation Hall’s Ben Jaffe to reflect the current tragic situation’s affects on the region.
The 2010 version of “Ain’t My Fault” was recorded in an impromptu late-night session at Preservation Hall in New Orleans just days before the musicians performed at a May 16 GULF AID benefit concert there. Produced by Ben Jaffe and Bill Lynn, the historic benefit track makes use not only of the building’s rich history, but some of the historic equipment still housed therein. Lenny Kravitz plays his guitar through Sweet Emma’s amplifier while Mos Def sings through her megaphone, all the while trading licks with 78-year-old clarinetist Charlie Gabriel.
“Hip Hop is the New Orleans Jazz of this generation,” Ben Jaffe says. “If this was 1910, Mos Def and Lenny would be doing the same thing with Jelly Roll Morton or Louis Armstrong.”