90s born Toronto genre-hoppers BADBADNOTGOOD fuse hip hop and jazz as if Gucci Mane was jamming with John Coltrane. It’s a trick that the three-piece credit to the “cross-pollination” of 93, when producers like Wu–Tang’s RZA and Brooklyn-based Da Beatminerz (behind Black Moon’s Enta da Stage) began recognising the past, mixing jazz samples into tracks with kickdrums for good measure and transferring hip hop from just another genre to the commercial and cultural monster we have today.
As self-confessed hip hop heads as well as jazz academics, Matt, Chester and Alex of BADBADNOTGOOD have the audacity to mix the unexpected and pull it off with finesse. Here, the 90s progeny collectively pick their top five hip hop/jazz fusions from 93.
Black Moon, "How Many MC's"
''A Legendary song. Love the simple loop sample originally from Grover Washington Jr., the chorus line has been referenced and used by many emcees.''
Wu-Tang Clan, "'C.R.E.A.M.”
“’C.R.E.A.M.’ will always be such a classic track. Really catchy piano sample that was originally by The Charmels. The motif works well even with hard raps over it. ODB singing in random spots is also amazing. Method Man delivers a strong hook. Great verses from Raekwon and Inspectah Deck.”
Digable Planets, "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like That)"
''So many great sample elements make up this song. Dope upright bass and horn sample from Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, a group whose music is really influential to us. The hook is really catchy and you hear this song in commercials to this day.”
A Tribe Called Quest, "Electric Relaxation”
''As a band we have actually jammed this song many times and tried to flip it our own way with solos and different arrangements. The song is really cool because of the sample from Ronnie Foster's Mystic Brew. It's a six bar loop and in hip hop, six bar forms aren't used a lot. It gives the song a unique and different feel. Phife and Q-Tip bring great verses and work the form really well.”
Souls of Mischief, "93' Til Infinity"
"Who doesn't know and love this hook? Originally a sample flip from a Billy Cobham song called ‘Heather’. The rhymes and word play throughout, even on the hook, make this song a classic. Everyone likes to chill.''