When Detroit's Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. recorded a version of Gil Scott-Heron's "We Almost Lost Detroit" for its debut album, "It's a Corporate World," the iconic poet and musician was still alive and, as far as anyone knew, well.
But Scott-Heron's death on May 27 at the age of 62, just 11 days before the album's release, gives its inclusion some additional poignancy.
The group's Josh Epstein says that he and musical partner Daniel Zott initially created their version of the song "specifically for something...I can't remember what" rather than for their own release. But, he notes, "We loved it so much, and when the (album) took shape and we realized we were going to be calling it 'It's a Corporate World,' that song makes so much sense on that record.
"We were really proud of the version we did. We felt like we brought it a little bit closer into the catchy pop world that we like to kind of have one foot inside of. It just really kind of fit what we do, and it's a great song to begin with."
The original "We Almost Lost Detroit" appears on Scott-Heron's 1977 album "Bridges" and was inspired by the partial meltdown of the Fermi 1 nuclear reactor near Monroe in 1966.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Danny Brown and Prussia perform Saturday, June 25, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call 313-961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com.