Exclusive: CeeLo Green bares his soul on remix of Childish Gambino’s ‘Redbone’

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CeeLo Green has been uber-productive lately, and now’s your chance to hear his latest, a remix of Childish Gambino’s “Redbone”.

CeeLo Green is one of music’s most enigmatic characters, someone who is as likely to drop dozens of lyrics about his favorite MCs as he is to show up to the Grammys covered in gold. So when he sends you a text message of a new song at 2 a.m., you are not shocked — you are excited. That is how CeeLo’s remix of Childish Gambino’s infectious Redbone ended up at Digital Trends — and it’s now being shared with the world.

In the remix, Green replaces Gambino’s soulful, paranoid musings of staying awake with an arresting proclamation of love and devotion. It’s one of the rare remakes where you can hear how the original artist was influenced by the one remaking the song. The original — as well as the album on which it debuted, Awaken My Love — shares similar musical DNA to Green’s 2010 soul album The Lady Killer, which spawned the international hit “Fuck You.”

Green’s remix may result in a more viscerally emotional delivery than the original, but the change in lyrics could have resulted in a different fate for the song. The original song by Childish Gambino, the stage name for actor Donald Glover, was featured in Jordan Peele’s blockbuster hit Get Out earlier this year. Peele says those cautionary lyrics, more than the music, is what got the song in the film. “Well, first of all, I love the ‘stay woke’ [lyric] — that’s what this movie is about,” Peele told HipHopDX.

Green has been regularly releasing music as of late, and his remix of Redbone is far from his first personal spin on a popular track. In February, he decided to pine for the affection of Beyoncé in Jay Z’s Girl a remake of Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl.” Weeks earlier, he released Fuck Me, I’m Famous on iTunes, the first single from his new alter ego, Gnarly Davidson.

The venerable lyricist, who has held his own on songs with the likes of Outkast and many other artists, also made his return to hip-hop last July with My Favorite MCs, his first solo rap song in years. The 20-year music vet told Digital Trends last year that he’s simply “getting reacclimated to rap.”