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5 great albums where jazz and hip hop interconnects

Blog
5 great albums where jazz and hip hop interconnects

20.09.2021

Text: Cem Kayıran

Da Poet & Barış Demirel, who will be at callinghouse on October 10 as part of 31st Akbank Jazz Festival, are creating a musical universe where jazz and hip hop meets. Hereby, let’s remember some of the memorable albums that represent this genre, which is described as “jazz hop” in some sources.

Digable Planets – Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space) [1993]

(Pendulum/Elektra Records)

To collect some samples, Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler digs into his father’s record collection which consists mostly of jazz albums. He points to DJ Premier as the main inspiration for the production approach in this magnificent debut. Having released two albums in the ‘90’s and won a Grammy with Reachin’, the band is back on stage after 20 years.

Guru – Jazzmataz vol. 1 [1993]

(Chrysalis Records / Virgin Records)

Guru released some of the early works that fall into the “jazz hop” category as Gang Starr, where he joined forces with DJ Premier. This, however, is the recording that kicked off his solo career. Musicians that accompany the legendary MC who passed away in 2010 are all jazz legends: Branford Marsalis, Donald Byrd, Roy Ayers, Ronny Jordan and Lonnie Liston Smith.

 Madlib – Shades of Blue: Madlib Invades Blue Note [2003]

(Blue Note)

Iconic record label Blue Note opens its archive to one of hip hop’s most creative producers, Madlib. The intention is for Madlib to collect a series of samples from this vast collection and create remixes. Californian producer does more than that and he invites MC friends to some of the songs. The result is Shades of Blue and its groovy mashups.

Nujabes – Modal Soul [2005]

(Hydeout Productions)

This is the last album which was released during Japanese producer Jun Seba’s lifetime. US jazz guitarist Terry Callier, Cise Starr and MC Shing02 from hip hop collective CYNE as well as DJ Uyama Hiroto are among guests in this album that intertwines flowing jazz rhythms with hip hop.

BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul [2015]

(Lex Records Ltd)

Canadian progressive jazz band BADBADNOTGOOD is a team that avoids repeating itself. They are also in close contact with the hip hop world - remember the wonders they created during the tour with Earl Sweatshirt. In this album released in 2015, they join forces with Ghostface Killah from Wu-Tang Clan. The album, produced by Post Malone and Frank Dukes who also has worked with The Weeknd, is inspired by ‘70’s soul music.

 Click here for a selection of Jazz and Hip Hop intersection albums. 

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