LISTEN: JooWan Kim And His Hip-Hop Orchestra Perform Wu Tang’s ‘C.R.E.A.M.’

What do you get when a classically trained composer with a wild side reinvents hip-hop tracks from the ’90s? A hell-raising work of genius that’ll make your piano teacher scratch her head and think, “What was that?”

We got to hear the first studio album from Ensemble Mik Nawooj, a full classical hip-hop orchestra (go ahead and wrap your brain around that for a moment) led by Oakland-based composer JooWan Kim. (Check out KoreAm’s 2013 interview with the musician here.) The five-track project, Ensemble Mik Nawooj: A Hip-Hop Orchestra, releases today on Golden Fetus Records, and reflects the “daily struggles of our lives and the indomitable will to overcome the hardships.” Described by the San Francisco Bay Guardian as “Mozart meets Method Man,” the group melds musical genres to produce a sound that’s unapologetic, thrilling and totally unique.

Listen to their cover of Wu Tang’s “C.R.E.A.M” here:

Buy the full album here.