The Lesson GK, a diverse multi-instrumental collective that have become a legendary staple over the course of their 7 year residency performing in New York City, have released their debut full-length album Another World
, on Jammcard Records.
Earlier this month, The Lesson GK gave listeners their first glimpse of what is bound to be the underground hit of the summer, with the single “Boogie
” featuring the hip-hop legend DJ Premier.
The Lesson GK started out as a passion project for renowned drummer Lenny “The Ox” Reece, who grew up performing in the church and wanted to start a band that would be composed of true artists who cared about the music and creating a space to connect with a live audience in a genuine way. “The Lesson,” Lenny decided, would be to find people of diverse backgrounds with a common love for music, who could learn to get along and jam together. Determined, Lenny found his people, and the improvisational jams started with a weekly jam session in 2012, which has since become the cornerstone of the NYC underground hip hop scene. Each member comes from a different upbringing, a different race, a different vibe and together they’ve built something that transcends all the things that have pulled the world apart as of late. With their unparalleled stadium-ready sound, The Lesson GK have created a unifying example of how people should act, and how music should feel.
“Music is a reflection of comradery,” says Lenny, and The Lesson GK is precisely that. They rely on each other and have found success in their group equilibrium as players. “Whatever our weakness is, we rely on each other’s strengths.”
The band’s secondary name “Gentei Kaijo” (Japanese for “limitation cancellation”) perfectly captures the ethos of the fully improvised experimental hip-hop, jazz, R&B, funk and progressive soul experience that proudly challenges both the artists and the crowd to become the best version of themselves by taking notice of their neighbor – regardless of cultural background, race, occupation and orientation – and learning about them in a space that fosters family.
Their mantra? Community. Magic. Life changing. Church. Home.
Fans have been asking for an album to take home for ages, but the band didn’t want to rush it. Now, with the release of Another World, the time finally felt right to take production from the stage to the studio, in a way that was most authentic for the group.
“Usually people write a song, compose it, record, then figure out how to get it live but we do it live first,” Explains Lenny of their process. “We tricked ourselves into making an album. We all care so much about what happens – we’re all best friends – this is our passion project. Sometimes caring so much can be a hindrance, so we started with making a beat tape to set low stakes, but we tricked ourselves into making a tape that came ultimately together into an album.”
The care, the heart, the community… can be fully heard on The Lesson GK’s new music. It’s the perfect sound for summer and an anthem for modern times.
JULIAN “J3PO” POLLACK (KEYS) @iamj3po
Past work: J3PO, Miranda Joan, Mike “Maz” Maher (Snarky Puppy), Amanda Brown (Adele), John Pizzarelli,Grace Kelly, NPR’s “Piano Jazz,” Stella Santana, Greg Holden, Grace Weber, Carrie Manolakos, Marcus Miller
NICHOLAS SEMRAD (KEYS) @nicholastsemrad
Past work: Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles, Lauryn Hill, Terrace Martin, Liv Warfield, Bilal, Talib Kweli, Mono Neon, Gabriel Garzon-Montano
CHRISTIAN ALMIRON (KEYS) @xtianalmiron
Past work: Fifth Harmony, Joey Bada$$, Liv Warfield, Lauryn Hill, Lalah Hathaway, Talib Kweli
DAVID CULTER (BASS) @davidleoncutler
Past work: Meshell Ndegecello, Joey Bada$$, SZA, Iggy Azalea, TI, Talib Kweli, Mino Cinelu, Bilal
PHASE ONE (MC) @phaseonemusic
Past work: Black Star (Mos Def/Talib Kweli), Talib Kweli (solo), Thundercat, Bilal, Reggie Watts, Quest Love, Big Pooh (formerly of Little Brother), Lords Of The, Underground, Sunny Moon, Ras Kas, Skyzoo, Malcolm Barrett, Red Alert, Célia Faussart (Les Nubians), Slum Village, Chris Turner, Ray Angry
JONATHAN “JHOARD’ HOARD (VOCALS) @jhoardmusic
Past work: Bilal, Sonnymoon/Anna Wise, The Stepkids, Kimbra, Pharoahe Monch