Jackson, Miss.-born Starita is a two-time Grammy recognized producer-engineer (known for his work with A Tribe Called Quest, Childish Gambino, and Michael Franti, among others) — as well as an artist in his own right. His newly released single, “Rules,” from the debut album Starita – For the Record, showcases Starita’s deep roots in dance and funk music, kicking off the collaborative effort featuring a dream team of artists.
Yahoo Music is excited to premiere the video for “Rules,” which features the talents of A Tribe Called Quest’s Jarobi White and singer-songwriter Trent Park.
“The track started out as a break-beat Florida Miami kind of sound, then went pop, and then out in left field on the bridge,” explains Starita. “And while ‘Rules’ breaks music conventions, we stuck to the vision of staying humble to music, letting the song breathe and evolve into its own thing. Adding Jarobi’s style on top of all this is entirely different than what fans are used to hearing from him.”
“When I heard it, I was immediately like, ‘Yes! I do like this. I do want to run with this,’” adds White. “I always like to have experiences with other people where they bring something out of me. And this was definitely a pleasure.”
“‘Rules’ has this funk,” notes Park. “It has this R&B vocal and the strategy of a lyricist on it. Older cats will like it because it’s got that funk. The younger kids will like it because it has that pop. People that want that Tribe Called Quest lyric could hear that in the gymnastics that Jarobi does with the vocals, which are crazy!”
The video connects the stories of East and West Coast artists — White and Park from New York, and Starita from San Francisco (his adopted hometown). To pay homage to the late Phife Dawg and A Tribe Called Quest, Starita and Jarobi headed to St. Albans in Queens, visiting Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor Way, ATCQ’s stomping grounds, for the video.
White enjoyed taking Starita on the symbolic walk that he took daily with Q-Tip and Phife Dawg as kids. “To be able to witness the duality of both those experiences — the hood (the tougher part) on one side of the neighborhood and the haven for black jazz entertainers and celebrities (Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Lena Horne, Hurricane Carter, Roy Campanella) back in the 1930s on the other — it goes to show you I can really make something of myself,” says White. “I love to show people that’s what makes us, because half of our experiences was the Cosby Show and the other half like f***in’ hood, which I think lets our music blend so well. I love to show people that little walk from there to the store to the park because taking that walk changed what music is today.
“If me, Tip, and Phife didn’t take those walks everyday, who knows what music would sound like today?”