Jazz’s resident hip-hop-splainer is back today with an insightful look into the sample sources and techniques of two pioneering producers. Robert Glasper, an intimate collaborator with the late J Dilla, was tapped by the good folks at NPR for a knowledge base and career split between the worlds of jazz and hip-hop, making him uniquely qualified to dissect how and why some of the most revered culture cuts sound the way they do.

Naturally, Dilla and Pete Rock were the subjects in question, both leaning heavy on melodic jazz, and in the case of the Detroit Donut specialist, sickly-swung Brazilian grooves. Glasper picks apart Ahmad Jamal‘s “I Love Music” to isolate the barely-four-bar excerpt recalibrated by PR for Nas‘ “The World Is Yours,” hones in on the precise segment of Herbie Hancock‘s “Come Running To Me,” altered and propped up for Slum Village‘s “Get Dis Money,” and caps it all off with a run through of De La Soul‘s “Stakes Is High” and Jamal’s “Swahililand” to find their overlapping notes.

Watch Robert Glasper break down J Dilla and Pete Rock’s legendary samples in the clip above.

Drew Pierce

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