donald byrd – cristo redentor (intro beat)
frank leone – huffing paint
smino feat mick Jenkins – new coupe
jordan bratton – sunsets
R.M.C. – space & time
donovan – get thy bearings
Jessie reyez – body count
gallmatias – south
sade – cherish the day
frank ocean – nights
flying lotus – zodiac shit
tweet – oops (oh my)
j dilla – flowers (beat)
anomalie – new space
donald byrd – wind parade (mark de clive-lowe remix)
d’angelo & the vanguard – ain’t that easy
sly5thAve feat jimetta rose – let me ride
manuel darquart – just be faithful (to me)
missy elliot – freak on (memba bootleg)
daniel crawford – electric felaxtaion
j dilla – Emc2



This 3-mix series is simply the result of an overflow of downtempo, boom-bappish rhythms I’ve been listening to lately. Some Hip Hop, R&B, Funk, and few things in between. Aside from a few classics, most of it is from 2018 or around thereabouts.

Cristo Redentor – This kicks off with a little Donald Byrd, from his 1963 Blue Note classic, “A New Perspective”, which features a stellar lineup including Hank Mobley, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Burrell and Duke Pearson. It also has one of the coolest Blue Note album covers from this era. The voiceover was lifted from a 1949 documentary about my beloved borough.

Huffing Paint – This bit of trappy nursery rhyme weirdness came out in February of 2018. Frank Leone is a Chicago MC who’s been making tracks since about 2015. he might sound a little like a mumble rapper at first glance, and mumble rappers make me want to stab people, but this dude is doing something unique – changing up his flow, singing, and bringing in vocal harmonies outta nowhere. Good shit that cuts through the clutter.

New Coupe – Speaking of the Chi, Illinois MC Mick Jenkins joins St Louis MC Smino on this playful and plodding tune. The weird crowd of backup MCs gives it a bit of Outkast vibe, but of course all of that originates with P Funk so give George Clinton his props. This came out in May, and Smino has been leaking tracks from his forthcoming album since.

Sunsets – Slowly picking up the pace, we move on to Long Island soul/R&B vocalist and MC, Jordan Bratton. I dig the beat and the paddy synths, and the balance of singing and rhyming really works too. He did some Broadway work as a kid, in The Lion King and The Color Purple, and got signed to RCA in 2014. Here’s hoping he really breaks through in 2018.

Space & Time – This is a short snippet of a track that first appeared on one installment of the “Madlib Medicine Show”, an impressive collection of 13 mixtapes that Madlib put out on vinyl in very limited qualities in 2010 and 2011. If you appreciate DJs with eclectic tastes, I highly recommend tracking these down. They’re full of all kinds of great music, and some of it was even new to me. R.M.C. was the somewhat sloppy Jazz band he formed around this time.

Get Thy Bearings – A surprisingly Funky tune from Donovan’s wildly successful, 1968 “Hurdy Gurdy Man” LP, which he recorded fresh from India, where he had been hanging out with the Maharishi and The Beatles and Mia Farrow and Mike Love. Not a bad group to do drugs and study meditation with. This song was supposedly later covered by King Crimson during their live shows, which was probably dope as fuck.

Body Count – Toronto singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez reached out to R&B vet Babyface (yes, THAT Babyface) as well as Khristopher Riddick-Tynes and Leon Thomas of The Rascals (look em up) to make this catchy 2018 track about female independence and standing up for yourself. “I dodge dick on the daily” is a great line.

South – Put this one down on the long list of schmoove R&B tracks celebrating the art of a certain Latin term that gets all the ladies singing. Galimatias is a Denmark native who relocated to LA to get his fly-ass-white-boy singing career off the ground. So far he seems on the right path. This came out in April.

Cherish The Day – This 12” mix of Sade remains one of my go-to songs, when I want to get room all sexy n shit. There’s simply nothing smoother. She’s made SO many great records so far, but Love Deluxe is the one I still listen to the most. Talk about quiet storm…

NightsFrank Ocean was a slow burn for me. It took me awhile to let go of my need for traditional song structures with my R&B. As a result, I keep discovering old songs of his that I can now love like they’re brand new. This is the latest, from his 2016 “Blonde” LP.

Zodiac Shit – Another dope Flying Lotus track, from his 2010 banger Cosmogramma – a title he re-molded from his great Aunt Alice Coltrane, who liked to refer to life on earth as a “cosmic drama.” Adult swim also made a really trippy, really awesome video for this.

Oops (Oh My) – This shit still bumps, 16 years later – back when Timbaland had the Midas touch and Tweet came outta nowhere looking like Aaliyah’s hot cousin from out of state.

Flowers – Just a nice Dilla beat to keep things moving. This ended up on the Yancey Boys Sunset BLVD LP, released in 2013, but Dilla scholars tell us he made it in 97.

New Space – Keeping with the instrumental vibe for a minute, this is a nice, thick rubbery groove from Nicolas Dupuis aka Montreal keyboardist and beat maker Anomalie. Check out more of his work HERE.

Wind Parade (Mark de Clive-Lowe remix) – in 2017, Blue Note Records gave New Zealand producer Mark De Clive Lowe the dream job of creating a mixtape series built from their stellar catalogue of Jazzy breakbeats. A seasoned studio vet, Mark did these live, in one take, as a living remix – adding in additional vocalists and keyboards and other instruments here and there to make it his own. This cast of misfits includes rapper Bambu, John Robinson, Illa J, singer Nia Andrews, bassist Pino Palladino and saxophonist Nomad Pendergrass. This is just a snippet of his take on Donald Byrd’s “Wind Parade”, which most Hip Hop heads first fell in love with via Black Moon.

Ain’t That Easy – The opening track from D’angelo’s triumphant 2014 return from the underworld. I saw him again on this tour, and all I can say is, it was worth the wait.

Let Me Ride – This live orchestra recording of Parliament by way of Dr Dre is the result of a November 2015 concert in LA created by multi-instrumentalist Sly5thAve aka Sylvester Onyejiaka, Eric Coleman aka Mochilla and Kentyah Fraser – all dedicated to building a music school in Compton. Vocalist Jimetta Rose does her thing here, and even Dr Dre himself reportedly attended the concert and gave them mad props. This studio version was finally released on Tru Thoughts in October of 2017.

Just Be Faithful (To Me) – The last track from 2018’s “Birds of Paradiso” EP, the brainchild of Manuel Darquart, who is actually two people: New Zealand DJ’s Sean Whittaker and Louis Anderson-Rich. I love mid tempo house tunes like this – that just sort of chug along – getting you from A to B.

Freak On (Memba bootleg) – A fun and groovy EDM-ish retake on Missy Elliot that I couldn’t help but pick up. Memba are a NY-based production duo, Ishaan Chaudhary & Will Curry.

Electric Felaxtaion – keeping it loose, we move on to this playful remix of Tribe Called Quest that Daniel Crawford made for a Fela mixtape back in 2013. Crawford is an LA-based Pianist and member of the Jazz collective, The Wylde Bunch. He’s worked with the likes of Raphael Saadiq, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J, Jhene Aiko, Omarion, Angie Stone, Kenny Lattimore, Rahsaan Patterson, to name a few. Check out his latest stuff HERE.

Emc2 – One last Dilla beat to finish volume 1. If you’re digging this mix, the other two in this series are right up your alley, I promise.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.