Jon Kwest, one of many local purveyors of the homegrown EDM sound, dropped this edit this morning. “Drum Major” has a shuffling, martial beat, some ’70s-sounding soul guitar, and audio from King’s 1968 “Drum Major Instinct” sermon, which he delivered two months before his assassination. (It was played at his funeral.)
So, yeah, it’s pretty effective and rousing. Or as one commenter on the Soundcloud stream says: “MORAL EXCELLENCE !!!”
The “Drum Major Instinct” sermon was involved in a recent controversy, you’ll remember; the new memorial to King on the National Mall earned criticism—-from Maya Angelou, even!—-for including the inscription, “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.” The actual words from the sermon are much more conditional: “If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.” Critics said the edited inscription made King sound arrogant.
Luckily, Kwest decided to leave the audio unmolested.