Archives

One Of The Most Sampled Songs In Hip-Hop Now Has A Sequel (Audio)

Since the early 1970s, pioneering Hip-Hop DJs played records with specific instrumental breakdown sections that could make B-boys and B-girls dance. As the culture grew, one of the artists who created breaks that DJs—and later, producers, gravitated towards was Bob James. The keyboardist, arranger, and record producer has since become... Read more

Finding The GOAT Group: The Fugees vs. Digable Planets. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to... Read more

Finding The GOAT Group: Public Enemy vs. Stetsasonic. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to... Read more

Roy Ayers’ Tiny Desk Performance Shows Why He’s 1 Of Hip-Hop’s Biggest Influences (Video)

Vibraphonist Roy Ayers is a legend of Jazz, Funk, and Soul music that collectively has had a tremendous impact on Hip-Hop. A product of Los Angeles, California, Ayers would work with flutist (and another prominently-sampled artist) Herbie Mann by the mid-1960s, before going off on his won. In the '70s,... Read more

Talib Kweli Discusses The Genius Of Madvillainy & Its Impact On Hip-Hop (Audio)

Last month, Madvillain's album celebrated its 14th birthday. In the early 2000s, MF DOOM and Madlib formed the group and recorded Madvillainy in the latter's bomb shelter studio in Glendale, California. The resulting Stones Throw Records album was a game-changer in the careers of two elusive, decorated veterans, both creatively... Read more

Q-Tip Will Teach College Students The Low End Theory & Other Hip-Hop Lessons

In March, A Tribe Called Quest released its final music video, "The Space Program." Currently an exclusive at Apple Music, the single from 2016's We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service closes the visual book on one of Hip-Hop's most beloved groups, according to a recent Sway... Read more

Herbie Hancock Will Rock It With Kendrick, Snoop & Common On Next LP

Herbie Hancock is a 14-time Grammy Award recipient (as well as an Oscar winner) that many cite as a provider of their introduction to Hip-Hop and DJ'ing on television. Although the Jazz impresario's recording career began at the top of the '60s, Hip-Hop and Hancock helped each other achieve mainstream... Read more

Quincy Jones Details How Michael Jackson Stole Some Of His Best Material (Video)

Quincy Jones turns 85 years old next month. The musician, arranger, producer, and celebrity is showing a side of himself that may be new to most of the public. Q is speaking fearlessly about some of his most sacred collaborators and peers. The creator of 1989's Back On The Block... Read more

Tyler, The Creator’s Best Rap Album Contender Sounds Even Better Live (Video)

Two weeks ago, Tyler, The Creator's Flower Boy album was nominated in the Grammy category for "Best Rap Album." The nod marks a first for the 26-year-old MC/producer. In 2013, Tyler was part of Frank Ocean's Channel Orange cast that received an "Album Of The Year" nomination. Looking into next... Read more

Digable Planets Made Jazz-Rap Cool Like Dat For Just About Everybody (Video)

Late, great Gang Starr lyricist Guru ambitiously declared "The '90s will be the decade of a Jazz thing" on the Mo' Better Blues soundtrack single named just that. Jazz-Rap was still an anomaly when groups like Public Enemy, N.W.A., and Boogie Down Productions were pulling extensively from '60s and '70s... Read more

Thundercat’s Guitar Gently Weeps On NPR’s Tiny Desk In This Soulful Set (Video)

Thundercat brought his guitar and his latest album Drunk into NPR's Washington, D.C. offices. At the Tiny Desk, the Brainfeeder artist, the Los Angeles, California native born Stephen Bruner joined his band for several selections, including 2015 crossover hit, "Them Changes." This song, including its innovative homage to The Isley... Read more

Weldon Irvine Influenced Black Star, KRS-One, JAY-Z, Common & Q-Tip. His Story Is Being Told (Video)

Best-known perhaps as the songwriter of the unofficial Civil Rights anthem, "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" (popularized by Nina Simone), the late Weldon Irvine bridged the generations as a key mentor and collaborator to Hip-Hop icons during the '90s and beyond. Guru, Roy Ayers, & Donald Byrd Brought Jazzmatazz... Read more

The Hot 8 Brass Band Prove Can’t Nobody Get Down Like New Orleans (Video)

New Orleans' expansive musical history is perhaps no better recognized than by the ubiquitous brass band. For generations, musicians in the Big Easy have taken up brass horns (wooden instruments don't do so well in the humidity) on street corners, in second-line parades, and in performance venues as instruments for both celebratory... Read more

Talib Kweli Stands Up To Make The World A Better Place, Starting With Beautiful Music (Audio)

Talib Kweli has joined forces with Jazz trumpeter and rapper Maurice Brown for "Stand Up," a brooding call to action for strength during turbulent times. Brown is a Grammy-winning musician whose tutelage under the great Wynton Marsalis has helped him become one of the most successful musicians of his class,... Read more

Producer David Axelrod Has Passed Away. He Leaves Massive Legacy In Hip-Hop.

This evening (February 5), it has been reported that David Axelrod has died. The Roots' Questlove took to social media moments ago to announce the death of iconic music producer, songwriter, and arranger. A native of South Central Los Angeles, California, Axelrod's own music, as well as his productions for... Read more

Big K.R.I.T. Makes His Most Experimental Song To Date. Will His Music Stay This Way? (Audio)

In what will likely be one of the most exciting chapters of Big K.R.I.T.'s music career, his recent departure from Def Jam may be encouraging him to explore and push musical boundaries in his own work. His recent feature on "Might Not Be O.K." (the work of Kenneth Whalum, a... Read more

Dru Hill Reunite For The Soul Train Awards & Sound As Great As Ever (Video)

It has been more than six years since Dru Hill released an album. The multi-platinum 1990s and 2000s Baltimore, Maryland group reunited for a 2016 Soul Train Awards performance. Opening the show, Sisqó, Jazz, Nokio, and Tao performed a medley of their hits, including the So So Def Remix of... Read more

Watch The Making Of The Mural That Immortalizes A Tribe Called Quest In Queens, NY (Video)

Today marks the 25th anniversary of A Tribe Called Quest releasing their album, The Low End Theory. The group's second LP, often considered their master work, was released on September 24, 1991—changing the musical landscape around it ever since In a 2016 that has tragically lost group co-founder Phife Dawg to... Read more

The Making Of ATCQ’s The Low End Theory, Told By People Who Were There

Twenty five years ago today, A Tribe Called Quest released The Low End Theory. The Queens, New York collective had seemingly achieved what so many of their peers aspired to: a record contract, devoted fans, and hits in rotation through a certifiably respected debut. Still, with Q-Tip at the helm,... Read more

45 King Gives His Rhythm Roulette Records A Truly Hard Knock (Video)

45 King is one of the most active Hip-Hop producers of 2016 who can say he was making hit records in the 1980s. He joins Dr. Dre, EPMD, Marley Marl, Prince Paul, Large Professor, and a very select few in that elite class. The New Jersey native has always had... Read more

Digable Planets Reflect On Their Travels Through Time & Space And They’re Still Light Years Ahead

In 1994, a trio of young, unparalleled Hip-Hop creators won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)." Up against megawatt contemporaries like Dr. Dre & Snoop Doggy Dogg, Naughty By Nature, and Cypress Hill, Digable Planets repped for... Read more

Robert Glasper & Bilal Re-Interpret Miles Davis’ “The Ghetto Walk” (Video)

Last month, Robert Glasper unveiled the first audio glimpse of his Everything’s Beautiful album (May 27). The Jazz musician is bridging the generations on an album inspired by and featuring some works by the late Miles Davis. In a season that looks at the trumpeter's life and times, courtesy of Don... Read more

Robert Glasper & Bilal Rhythmically Glide Over A Miles Davis Horn Sample (Audio)

Always creating, Robert Glasper's upcoming project connects his music to that of late Jazz icon, Miles Davis. Both men have injected a sense of soul, pain, and pride into the music—while reminding the world of Jazz' Black heritage and medium to express the culture. Everything's Beautiful (May 27), Glasper's seventh... Read more

Black Sheep Dres & Jaleel Shaw Fly High With the Help of New York City’s Jazzy Streets (Video)

The musical marriage of MC Dres (of Black Sheep) and Jazz saxophonist and composer Jaleel Shaw represents an intersection of two genres with a longstanding history. Shaw - a frequent collaborator of Robert Glasper's - released his second solo album back in 2008, but music's perennial ability to inspire others... Read more

Earth Wind & Fire Front Man Maurice White Passes Away

One of Soul, Jazz, and Funk music's most beloved voices and producers has died. Maurice White, co-founder and longtime front man of Earth Wind And Fire passed away last night (February 3), according to his brother (and fellow EWF member) Verdine. The 74 year-old singer died in his sleep. A... Read more

Don Cheadle’s Portrayal Of Miles Davis Captures His Fiery Cool (Video)

After years in the making, Don Cheadle's Miles Davis biopic has its official trailer. The Miles Ahead film, starring Cheadle in the lead, also features Ewan McGregor (who plays music journalist Dave Brill). Based on the trailer, the film captures Miles' life in 1979, a period when he was in... Read more

This Feel-Good Lord Finesse Mix Is The Cure For The Post-Holiday Hangover

Let's face it, the first Monday of the new year can often be a drag. For many, this means (fully) back to work, often some challenging weather, and a long haul to the next reason to celebrate. The all knowing Lord Finesse seems to have forecast such a feeling. The... Read more

DJ Jazzy Jeff’s Holiday Groove Has More Than A Touch Of Jazz (Audio)

DJ Jazzy Jeff knows how to do holidays right. His and MICK's Summertime mixtape series have made the Summer months even hotter. This time, as the year comes to a close, the West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Hip-Hop legend sprinkles a new track on fans. "Xmas Is Coming!!" is a straightforward Jazz... Read more

Jill Scott’s In Concert Rendition Of Strange Fruit Echoes Through The Eras (Video)

Recently, A&E aired Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America. The televised concert featured Pharrell Williams, Big Sean, Sting, John Legend, and Bruce Springsteen, among others. In that special, Jill Scott performed a cover of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit." A standard of modern music, Jill Scott's... Read more

Yasiin Bey & Robert Glasper Perform De La Soul’s Stakes Is High (Video)

Concert-going Heads know, rarely are two Yasiin Bey shows the same. The MC formerly known as mighty Mos Def can do Hip-Hop sets, singing sets, and often weave in Dancehall to his live show—and that's when he's not playing support to Gorillaz, doing Black Star dates, or trying his hand... Read more

Pete Rock Reminisces Over “T.R.O.Y.” & Getting Emotional Hearing Tom Scott’s Sample (Audio)

One year ago, Pete Rock appeared on NPR's "Microphone Check" to discuss his catalog, remixes, and James Brown influence. At the midpoint of 2015, the Chocolate Boy Wonder (as he's been deemed) has a fresh batch of Petestrumentals available, care of Tucson, Arizona-based Mello Music Group. An MC/producer who got... Read more

k-os Crucifies An Ella Fitzgerald Sample In His Return Single (Audio)

More than two years removed from BLack On BLonde, k-os has returned for more. The Toronto, Ontario mainstay has built a career on waxing ill poetic on beats based upon samples by SoHo, interpolations of Greg Kihn Band, and now—Ella Fitzgerald vocals. "Crucify" builds upon the Jazz songstress' "It's De-Lovely"... Read more

Celebrate Mark de Clive-Lowe’s Reconstructed Take On Herbie Hancock (Mix)

Mark de Clive-Lowe is a name that may not stand out to you, but he's surely in the liner notes to your music library. From Ms. Lauryn Hill to Blu, the New Zealand-born, Los Angeles, California-based composer, musician, and producer gets down. Versed in Jazz and Soul, Mark took on... Read more

The Robert Glasper Trio Has Got It Covered When It Comes To Jhene Aiko (Video)

Grammy Award-winning Jazz pianist and composer Robert Glasper has a long history of blending his own musical stylings with Hip-Hop, and his latest release embodies his appreciation for both. Covered: The Robert Glasper Trio Recorded Live at Capitol Studios features renditions of Jhené Aiko, Bilal, Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, Musiq... Read more

This 2015 Cover Of Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit Will Give You Chills (Audio)

Billie Holiday's 1939 song "Strange Fruit" is the epitome of captivating. A poem penned two years prior by educator Abel Meeropol (as "Lewis Allan"), the song symbolizes and mourns the lynchings of Black people. In 1999, Time magazine would proclaim Holiday's version "the song of the century." Artistically, it is... Read more

Rediscover Madlib’s Yesterdays’ New Quintet Thanks To Stones Throw (Audio)

Madlib. Quasimoto. The Loop Digga. The man born Otis Jackson, Jr. has many names, identities, and personas. Back in the early 2000s, one of Madlib quietly emerged with one of his most illusive groups, Yesterday's New Quintet. A consummate sampler, Madlib began experimenting with a Fender Rhodes keyboard. As Stones... Read more

Terrace Martin Flips SZA & Chance The Rapper’s Child’s Play On Its Head (Audio)

Terrace Martin remixes are more than just half-baked re-purposed hits. Instead, the Locke High alum breaks out his arsenal of instruments, and bends a song's form, feel, and genre. An affiliate of the Top Dawg Entertainment family, the onetime Snoop Dogg protege undresses SZA's "Child's Play" single, which features Chance... Read more

Is Flying Lotus The 2014 Equivalent Of Parliament-Funkadelic? Hear The Latest (Audio)

Based on the upcoming work with Kendrick Lamar alone, chances are Flying Lotus' stock is about to skyrocket. The Los Angeles, California native producer/musician/DJ has put in a decade making music that defied genre limitations, and just thrived off that nod factor. This is true of "Coronus, The Terminator." From... Read more

Mick Jenkins Releases a Powerful and Timely Video About a Water Shortage (Video)

The theme of Mick Jenkins upcoming project, The Water(s), is fully flushed out in the Chicago raised MC's cinematic visuals to his cut, "Jazz." Quenching the thirst of the people with his commanding voice, light, dreamlike production sets the scene for Mick to spit his story as a few local... Read more

!llmind Brings Bob James’ Into The Modern Era With This Tribute Remix (Audio)

New Jersey professor/educator !llmind has been knocking around the music industry for over a decade. In addition to full-length work with Skyzoo, 'Mind has credits with G.O.O.D Music's Cruel Summer release, Eminem's Marshall Mathers LP 2, and joints with Boot Camp Clik, Redman, and Pharoahe Monch. After letting The Roots'... Read more

Mobetta – Daydreams ft Prodigy (Video)

Infamous Jazz happens, as Maurice "Mobetta" Brown continues his post-Grammy Award winning run. After rocking with Jean Grae on "Back At The Ranch," Mobetta returns with another once-prodigious (no pun) talent out of the Big Apple. The Tedeschi Trucks Band member links with Mobb Deep's Prodigy for the club-centric video... Read more

More Dilla…Here’s an incredible live jazz version of his Donuts album.

If you're a Dilla fan, you have GOT to hear this.  The performance was by a NYU jazz band called Stray Phrases.  It's yet another reminder of the inextricable ties between jazz and hip-hop. J Dilla’s Donuts Performed By Stray Phrases by TheSmokingSection... Read more