Featuring Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge, alongside a tight rhythm section and a full orchestra, The Midnight Hour is an ode to the cultural sophistication that the Harlem Renaissance established for its people. The album also boasts features from CeeLo Green, Raphael Saadiq, Marsha Ambrosius, Bilal, Eryn Allen Kane, Karolina, and more. Adrian and Ali began working on the record back in 2013, but put the project aside as they would score the hit Netflix series Marvel's Luke Cage . It's a sophisticated soul/jazz/hip hop album, captured to analog tape, which continues the conversations started by yesterday's jazz and funk pioneers; those that created the bedrock of samples for hip hop producers in the 80s/90s.
One of the seminal compositions, "Questions," originally began as an unfinished Midnight Hour demo with CeeLo Green. However, Kendrick Lamar heard the track and wanted to sample portions for his Grammy-winning album To Pimp a Butterfly (the song ultimately made it to Kendrick's 2016 compilation Untitled Unmastered as "Untitled 06 | 06.30.2014."). The full completed version of "Questions" is now the lead single on The Midnight Hour. "So Amazing" is a re-imagining of Luther Vandross‘ 1986 single. Ali and Adrian took Luther's original vocal stems and composed new music, as if they were in the room with Luther originally. This transcendental recording is something that really makes The Midnight Hour special.