"It's very eerily current because of the horrible things that have been going on with gun violence and various shootings... We're still in process even as we speak and I don't want to really talk too much about who's in 'cause that's still kind of fluid. But it's going to happen in 2016 for sure and there's a couple of folks who have approached us, so we're going to see what the final tally's going to be. But the things I've heard so far are really, really powerful, really fiery verses, and some of the writers are responding directly [to] what happened in St. Paul, what's happening in Baton Rouge. There's a bit of that in the mix, as well as other conversations" long-time Living Colour guitarist and bandleader Vernon Reid candidly revealed to Billboard last month, in light of this year's all-too frequent police and civilian shooting epidemic. Living Colour have since recruited producer Andre Betts, Prophets of Rage emcee Chuck D, Black Thought, Pharoahe Monch, Prodigal Sunn, Kyle Mansa, and a squad of as-yet-unannounced talented producers and emcees to take part in their forthcoming Biggie "Who Shot Ya?" (re)Mixtape EP. It seems like a somewhat odd choice, at first, to include The Roots emcee Black Thought—as The Roots and Biggie had a somewhat notorious (No Big Pun intended) quasi-beef all stemming from an apparently unplanned Biggie look-alike within their 1996 "What They Do" music video, a misconstrued "beef" which was unfortunately, never squashed prior to Biggie's untimely death.
Living Colour's Vernon Reid continued:
"Our version of “Who Shot Ya?” was initially an organic outgrowth of pure fandom for the work of the brilliant Christopher Wallace [Biggie]. Corey [Glover] would frequently sing the song during soundcheck, so we worked it up. But tragically, Biggie’s question has taken on new and urgent significance over the last year. The amount of people who die on a daily basis because of gun violence is unacceptable in a civilized society. The disproportionate use of deadly force in communities of color is equally unacceptable in a civilized society. It inspired the idea to reach out to some of the most provocative voices in Hip-Hop to invite them to add their words to the track. We all feel paralyzed as to how we can meaningfully effect change, but at the least, we can keep our voices raised in solidarity and not let this plight fade into the background until it happens again."