Hip-hop/jazz fusion isn’t new; plenty of artists, from J-Dilla to Bop Alloy, have mixed the genres with impressive results. So D.C. producer Yusef may not be breaking ground with The EPIC, his recently released instrumental album. Still, it’s a refreshing take on jazzy hip-hop breaks.
In some of The EPIC‘s best moments, Yusef fills space with live instrumentation and obscure movie clips: “65 African,” featuring Eliot Seppa on upright bass, makes great use of a Richard Pryor vocal sample before it transitions into a scratchy concoction of flutes and ambient wails.
The EPIC serves as a precursor to Yusef’s upcoming concept album, Jazz & the Joint Forces, which combines improvisational jazz and hip-hop. The EPIC is a free download. Listen below.