Grammy-winning guitarist/producer/bandleader Eric Krasno has unveiled his latest musical concoction, a collaboration with indie rapper Wax dubbed Light Years. The duo teased an upcoming album with their debut single, “In My Zone”, which features Andy Frasco and is available now.

Kraz himself describes the group as “highbrow boom bap hip-hop.” While many of his fans recognize him as a co-founder of seminal groups Lettuce and Soulive and his from myriad other projects including King Canyon and Krasno/Moore Project, Krasno also sports an extensive hip-hop resume. He has made beats for 50 CentTalib KweliRedman, and more and has produced artists ranging from Aaron Neville to Norah Jones and beyond. On Light Years, Krasno takes his seat in the producer chair and masterminds the tracks while Wax does his thing.

Krasno and Wax have been friends and occasional collaborators for many years, per a press release. Wax, born Michael Jones in Washington, D.C., has been an active rapper since 2000. After signing to Def Jam Recordings in 2011, he dropped a couple of mixtapes now hailed as cult classics by his fans, Scrublife and Eviction Notice. Wax didn’t stay long at Def Jam, however, departing the following year and in 2013 going viral with his music video for “Rosana”. The track gave him international attention and went gold in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, leading to his signing with Warner Music Germany.

Both Kraz and Wax can do many of the same things like play guitar, make beats, sing, and write lyrics, but have different approaches in the studio. “Kraz tends to go more serious, Wax more comedic,” a press release notes. For Light Years, they balanced each other out and made the studio a place of open artistic discourse, allowing each other to critique lyrics, hooks, beats, guitar parts, and anything else that went into the final product.

“I get to really just be a rapper on this project, so I took the time to craft the verses meticulously. I want people who hear this that have no idea who I am to go ‘Oh, I see why Kraz f–ks with this dude,'” Wax said. “I like working with Kraz because when we feel like we have made something dope he turns up the volume, gets out of his producer chair, and just kinda stalks around the studio feeling the music.  He ALWAYS has fun when he works. Not everyone is like that.”

Light Years did not share a title or release date for their debut album, but did reveal that it will include features by Talib Kweli and rising rapper Marlon Craft as well as contributions from Nigel Hall (Lettuce) and Frasco. The album will cover such diverse topics as “the modern political climate, to coping with existential dread, to light hearted relationships, to OF COURSE straight up braggadocio rap bars.” Their debut single “In My Zone” makes good on that promise, as Wax spits about everything from In-N-Out “Animal Style” burgers to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Maya Angelou. Gone are any of Kraz’s guitar pyrotechnics—aside from a few stray fuzzed-out notes at the end—as he focuses his attention on the swaggering, buzzy beat that defines this track dedicated to self-assurance.

Check out the debut single from Eric Krasno and Wax’s new project Light Years, “In My Zone”, featuring Andy Frasco. Stay tuned for additional singles and album information.

Light Years — “In My Zone” (ft. Andy Frasco)

Eric Krasno will be an ever-present face at Live For Live Music‘s upcoming Fest By Nite concert series in New Orleans during Jazz Fest. The guitarist will perform in a variety of projects, including a cross-over tribute to Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead dubbed Jimi’s Dead (4/26), The Krasno/Moore Project at Daze Betweens New Orleans (4/30), and a Crescent City Classics celebration of New Orleans funk with members of Lettuce, The Meters, Dumpstaphunk, and more (5/4). Find L4LM’s full roster of Fest By Nite events here.