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Jazz They’ve Got: Hip-Hop & Improvised Music’s Continuing, Thriving, Unbreakable Union

Say “jazz rap” and a few touchstones instantly come to mind. There’s A Tribe Called Quest’s “Jazz (We’ve Got),” with its propulsive Jimmy McGriff sample, and Gang Starr’s seminal “Jazz Thing,” the mission statement by Guru and DJ Premier, both of whom made connecting jazz and hip-hop a career-long project. Late-’80s and early ’90s releases by the aforementioned groups as well as Stetsasonic, Jungle Brothers, De La Soul and Digable Planets helped cement jazz rap as a bona fide trend during that period, music whose creative sampling continues to introduce legions of rap fans to jazz today…

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