American Epic, the PBS documentary about early recorded music in the USA, has finally made it to the UK, with the first episode airing last Friday (June 9) on BBC4. Featuring performers ranging from Alabama Shakes to Elton John, the documentary explores "the birth of modern music," focusing on early recording methods circa the 1920s, delving into their history, and re-employing them with current artists.
Alongside the documentary, which was co-produced by Jack White, there's also a feature-length performance film made by White called The American Epic Sessions, where the first electrical recording method has been re-created. From that film, you can now see a clip of Nas performing his "One Mic" from Stillmatic, with White on piano—watch above.
As you can hear, the sound is more muffled than the crystal clear production we're now accustomed to, but Nas' determination on the track still makes it through the fuzz. This version of "One Mic," then, is a cool throwback to a time when recorded music was considered revolutionary, and kind of an interesting reminder that it definitely still can be.
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(Image via YouTube)