Donald Byrd, the hugely influential jazz and funk trumpeter, passed away on Monday. Innovative and transcendental, Byrd broke new ground in his exploration of the intersections between bebop, funk, soul and R&B. Byrd’s legacy is firmly entrenched both in the span of his critically-acclaimed discography and in his continued influence on hip-hop, his samples forming the basis for many of the genre’s best jams, including Black Moon’s “Buck ‘Em Down” and Nas’ “NY State of Mind” and Public Enemy’s “Fear of a Black Planet”. RIP.
The 20th anniversary of Black on Both Sides has been getting a lot of attention on social media. And it’s clear why: the album is a legit classic. When it dropped in 1999, Black on Both Sides was heralded as a rallying cry for intelligent hip-hop, a strike back against the genre’s capitulation to profit […]
Medhane and Deem Spencer complement each other nicely on this new track, “Voyager,” which is built on fuzzy, reverberating synths and thumping kicks, the whole effect dream-like and meditative. You can listen on Youtube but there’s a higher quality version on Spotify. Photo credit: Ade Sayeed
It’s been a minute since I’ve contributed to this site, so it seems fitting that my first post in over year is about the new Gang Starr track, “Family and Loyalty,” featuring J. Cole. The group’s first new music since 2003’s The Ownerz, the song was dropped as a surprise after DJ Premier teased the […]