First Listen: Ron Isley and Swizz Beatz join forces on "Harlem" cut

(September 9, 2021) On a good day, the average person doesn't want to think about his or her life coming to an end, but certain events, or the expectation of them, can make one realize just how short and fragile life is. The next day - really, the next minute - isn't promised. 

Those are the kinds of thoughts evoked by our newest First Listen called "If I Should Die Tonight," performed by the legendary Ron Isley and Grammy-winning producer/rapper Swizz Beatz.  The song is included on the soundtrack to the second season of Godfather of Harlem, a TV drama series starring Forest Whitaker. 

(September 9, 2021) On a good day, the average person doesn't want to think about his or her life coming to an end, but certain events, or the expectation of them, can make one realize just how short and fragile life is. The next day - really, the next minute - isn't promised. 

Those are the kinds of thoughts evoked by our newest First Listen called "If I Should Die Tonight," performed by the legendary Ron Isley and Grammy-winning producer/rapper Swizz Beatz.  The song is included on the soundtrack to the second season of Godfather of Harlem, a TV drama series starring Forest Whitaker. 

As the title suggests, "If I Should Die Tonight" is a potential farewell set to music, a reflective look back on one's past in view of the uncertain future, and a way to express important sentiments to loved ones before it's too late.  Melodically, the song - which has a contemporary rap feel - will sound familiar to a 2000s-era hip-hop fan because its backdrop is the same as the Jay-Z hit, "Song Cry."

This type of track is a bit different from what we might expect from Ron Isley, but it's just more evidence of his proven ability to appeal to younger audiences with ease, not just on matters of the heart but on life and death as well. 

Check out "If I Should Die Tonight" below, and let us know what you think.

By Darnea N. Samuels

 

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