“Jazz is the mother or father of hip hop music. They’re both musics that were born out of oppression. They’re both kind-of like protest music. You know, both going against the grain. If you’re a hip-hop producer that wants a lot of melodic stuff happening, you’re probably going to go to jazz first.”
From NPR’s Jazz Night in America, pianist Robert Glasper shares how jazz samples were honored and transformed as hip hop source material, connecting the two genres across generations. Colorful visuals help guide viewers through the audio tour. Plus, get quick definitions of chopping and lifting.
Glasper has lived in an area of overlap between jazz and hip-hop for more than two decades — and you can hear it in his piano playing, which often drifts into cyclical rhythms akin to a beat-maker’s loops… In this short doc, Glasper identifies three jazz samples, from tracks by Ahmad Jamal and Herbie Hancock, that have served as source material for famed hip-hop producers J Dilla and Pete Rock.
The music: Ahmad Jamal Trio, “I Love Music,” The Awakening (1970) and Nas, “The World Is Yours,” Illmatic (1994); Herbie Hancock, “Come Running To Me,” Sunlight (1978) and Slum Village, “Get This Money,” Fantastic, Vol. 2 (2000); Ahmad Jamal, “Swahililand,” Jamal Plays Jamal (1974) and De La Soul “Stakes Is High,” Stakes Is High (1996).
Additional reading: The convergence of jazz and hip-hop, from Louis Armstrong to Kendrick Lamar by Scott Morin.
Discover more Black History Month videos ➜
Bonus: How Notes and Beats Go Together (The Rhythm Pyramid), The Beautiful Relationship Between Physics and Jazz, and How playing an instrument benefits your brain.
This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.
Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.