Watch Robert Glasper Show How Sampling Connects Jazz And Hip-Hop Watch pianist Robert Glasper demonstrate how three samples from jazz tracks by Ahmad Jamal and Herbie Hancock served as source material for famed hip-hop producers J Dilla and Pete Rock.

Jazz Night In America Videos

'Jazz Is The Mother Of Hip-Hop': How Sampling Connects GenresWBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Why do hip-hop producers gravitate toward jazz samples? For a mood, for sonic timbre, for a unique rhythmic component. Swing is a precursor to the boom-bap. "If you're a hip-hop producer that wants a lot of melodic stuff happening," pianist Robert Glasper says, "you're probably going to go to jazz first."

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. It's all one and the same to Glasper: recasting the music of Miles Davis for an R&B audience or rocking live shows with Q-Tip; playing acoustic jazz with his trio or streamlined soul with his Grammy-winning Robert Glasper Experiment.

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.


Producers: Alex Ariff, Colin Marshall, Nick Michael, Cameron Robert; Editors: Nick Michael, Morgan Noelle Smith; Animator: CJ Riculan; Sound Editor/Audio Engineer: Suraya Mohamed; Videographers: Nick Michael, Cameron Robert; Interviewer: Alex Ariff; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Senior Producer, Radio: Katie Simon; Executive Producers: Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundmann, Amy Niles; Special Thanks: Robert Glasper, Michael Gonik, Steinway Hall; Funded in part by: The Argus Fund, The Wyncote Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, Doris Duke Foundation


  • Ahmad Jamal Trio, "I Love Music," The Awakening (1970)
  • Nas, "The World Is Yours," Illmatic (1994)
  • Herbie Hancock, "Come Running To Me," Sunlight (1978)
  • Slum Village, "Get This Money," Fantastic, Vol. 2 (2000)
  • Ahmad Jamal, "Swahililand," Jamal Plays Jamal (1974)
  • De La Soul "Stakes Is High," Stakes Is High (1996)
[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz Night In America Videos

Joshua Redman on saxophone, Scott Colley on bass, Brian Blade on drums and Ron Miles on cornet perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

toggle caption Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center

Still Dreaming: Joshua Redman's Tribute To A Tribute

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The saxophonist opens up about the legacy of his father, Dewey Redman, and performs with Still Dreaming — his own nod to the quartet his dad once helped convene as an homage to Ornette Coleman.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone at a jazz club in the movie "La La Land". Dale Robinette/Summit Entertainment hide caption

toggle caption Dale Robinette/Summit Entertainment

A Jazz Fact Check Of 'La La Land'

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

There are many takes about what La La Land gets right or wrong about jazz. This episode explores how the tension between illusion and disillusion plays out among real musicians in Los Angeles.

Back To Top