Hip-hop workhorse and D.C. native Amir Mohamed, aka Oddisee, reveres soul, particularly the tunes by another fellow from his hometown, Marvin Gaye. In 2012 Mohamed reworked “Ain’t That Peculiar,” an R&B chart topper that appears on 1966’s Moods of Marvin Gaye, as part of an EP of reimagined tracks called Odd Renditions. When he dropped Tangible Dream the following year he included “The Goings On,” a tender, mellow soul number with slowly sashaying boom-bap percussion and a sweet vocal hook that fondly recalls the title track of Gaye’s What’s Going On.
Singer Ralph Real handles the hook’s vocals on the song, and plays in Good Company, which backs Mohamed during his concerts. Last year Mohamed and Good Company recorded a live version of “The Goings On” in a Chicago living room; local production company Big Foot Media filmed the whole thing. You might be able to see these musicians perform the tune tonight when they swing by 1st Ward in Wicker Park to support the newest Oddisee album, The Good Fight. To prepare for the show today’s 12 O’Clock Track is “The Goings On,” both the live rendition and the studio-recorded original—give both a listen below.