Okayplayer's Kanye West Birthday Mixtape by DJ Raydar Ellis
Okayplayer's Kanye West Birthday Mixtape by DJ Raydar Ellis

Mixtape Monday: Exclusive DJ Raydar Ellis's Kanye West Birthday Megamix Premiere + More!

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Mixtape Monday is very proud and pleased to be back on your digital screen of choice. But there's really no time for pleasantries this time 'round because there are two crucial announcements to make: first, it's summer! Yes the calendar might not be declaring the official solstice for a few weeks yet, but the breezy and backyard-ready mixes are already rolling in and we're sure that the best way to spend the entire week is under the sun with a stereo close at hand. Second, we've got a very special birthday in the house. Yes Kanye West turns 38 today, and to commemorate the occasion Okayplayer is proud to premiere the very special new Kanye West Birthday Mix from DJ Raydar Ellis, an incredible 87 minutes of the very best tracks ever made by the prolific and divisive artist. Look a little further and you'll find Big Jacks's new summery Heatwave mix, along with a brand new set from DJ QBert, plus Music is My Sanctuary, sofie, Lakim and DJ Aware. There's so much that we're so very excite about, so stop reading and start listening--the mixtapes begin now.

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Say what you will about Kanye West, the man has made an indelible mark on modern hip-hop. His prolific work as a journeyman beatmaker practically revolutionized mainstream hip-hop in the early aughts, reasserting soul samples, MPC drums and a sense of joy in the hip-hop he made. Today, on his 38th birthday, Okayplyaer and DJ Raydar Ellis are commemorating the work West has put in with a sprawling 87 minute new DJ mix loaded with the highlights of his early years. Comprised of not only West's own material (everything My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and before) but also a trove of his production and feature work for other artists like Jay Z, Ludacris, Talib Kweli, Common and more, the mix is at once a reminder of just Kanye West's mammoth impact on music and a huge victory of mix-making by Ellis, who himself is a professor at Berklee College of Music and is celebrating his own birthday today as well. So set aside your hang-ups, forget for just a minute about Yeezus and "All Day" and Kim and Adidas and the degrees and the lectures and the outbursts. It's time to give the champion his due.


Kanye West - "Good Friday (ft: Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Big Sean, & Charlie Wilson)"

Kanye West - "Get 'Em High (ft: Talib Kweli & Common) "

Kanye West - "Good Life (ft: T Pain)"

Anthony King & John Matthews - "Pots 'N Pans "

Pusha T - "Numbers On The Boards"

Talib Kweli-Get By

Common-Black Maybe (ft: Bilal)

Kanye West - "Drive Slow (ft: Paul Wall & GLC)"

Kanye West-Jesus Walks

Jay Z & Kanye West-No Church In The Wild (ft: Frank Ocean)

Next Collective-No Church In The Wild

Dwele-Hold On (ft: Kanye West & Consequence)

88 Keys-Stay Up (ft: Kanye West)

T.I.-Swagger Like Us (ft: Kanye West Jay Z & Lil Wayne)

G.O.O.D. Music-New God Flow (ft: Pusha T Kanye West & Ghostface)

The Doors-Five To One

Jay Z-The Takeover

Scarface-Guess Who's Back (ft: Jay Z & Beanie Sigel)

Jay Z-Izzo

Jay Z-Heart Of The City (Ain't No Love)

Kanye West-Heartless

Lauryn Hill-Mystery Of Iniquity

Kanye West-All Falls Down (ft: Syleena Johnson)

Labi Siffre-My Song

Kanye West-I Wonder

Jay Z & Kanye West-Welcome To The Jungle (ft: Swizz Beatz)

Common-The People (ft: Dwele)

Common-They Say (ft: John Legend & Kanye West)

Consequence-The Good The Bad The Ugly (ft: Kanye West)

Kanye West-Flashing Lights (ft: Dwele)

Kanye West-Lord Lord Lord (ft: Mos Def Swizz Beatz Charlie Wilson & Raekwon)

Malik Yusef-Wouldn't You Like To Ride (ft: Common & Kanye West)

Slum Village-Selfish (ft: Kanye West & John Legend)

Kanye West-Diamonds From Sierra Leone (ft: Jay Z

Kanye West-Chain Heavy (ft: Consequence & Talib Kweli)

Kanye West-Heard 'Em Say (ft: Adam Levine)

John Legend-Heaven

Common-The Game

Ludacris-Stand Up (ft: Shawnna)

Kanye West-Champion

Kanye West-Spaceship (ft: GLC & Consequence)

Twista-Overnight Celebrity

Kanye West-Robocop

Kanye West-All Of The Lights (ft: Everybody)

Common-The Corner Remix (ft: Scarface & Mos Def)

The Game-Dreams

Kanye West-Can't Tell Me Nothin

Graham Nash - "Chicago"

Beanie Sigel - "The Truth"

G:O:O:D: Music - "Clique (ft: Big Sean Jay Z & Kanye West)"

Kanye West - "Wow"

Kanye West - "Through The Wire"

Kanye West - "Crack Music (ft: The Game)"

Kanye West - "Barry Bonds (ft: Lil Wayne)"

Kanye West - "Late"

Kanye West - "Home (ft: John Legend)"

Jay Z - "Run This Town (ft: Rihanna & Kanye West)"

Common - "Southside (ft: Kanye West)"

Kanye West - "We Major (ft: Nas & Really Doe)"

Alicia Keys - "You Don't Know My Name"

Common - "Break My Heart"

Kanye West - "So Appalled (ft: JAY-Z Pusha T Prynce Cy Hi Swizz Beatz & The RZA)"

Kanye West - "2 Words (ft: Mos Def & Freeway)"

Kanye West - "Half Price"

Kanye West - "Good Morning"

Kanye West - "Good Night (ft: Mos Def & Al Be)"

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

(Art: Yedi Fresh)

Few can attest to the kind of left-field theatrics that DJ QBert has up his sleeve, and on his latest mixtape he comes with nothing but the genuine goodness. The new "Hard Boiled Scrambled Egg Break Mix Pt. 2" is a follow-up to one of our favorite mixtape drops of the spring, and packs nothing but funky breaks, tribal breaks, jazzy breaks, weird breaks and all the deft turntable work the world has come to expect from QBert. The set was premiered by the good folks over at Mass Appeal, and it comes with the following message attached:

"DJ QBert isn't one of those dudes who has to talk over every damn record he spins; he prefers to let his hands do the talking. And trust—they speak volumes. Today, Mass Appeal premieres DJ QBert's latest mix with DJ Rockit Rooster (winner of DJ QBert's "Corn Turd Sandwich Battle” 2015), HARD BOILED SCRAMBLED EGG Break Mix Part 2."

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Remember what we said about summer? It's finally here, y'all, and Big Jacks has dropped what might already be the essential summer mixtape. It's all here--Montell Jordan, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Dr. Dre, Skee Lo and so much more. Big Jacks personally suggested that we all enjoy it with a lemonade, or (perhaps something a little stronger?). Get the swimwear out and turn this up.


Da Brat feat. Notorious B.I.G. & Jermaine Dupri – "The B-Side"

LL Cool J feat. Total – "Loungin’ (Remix)"

Tony Toni Tone feat. DJ Quik – "Let’s Get Down (Big Jacks’ Blend)"

Janet Jackson – "Go Deep"

Mariah Carey feat. Da Brat & Missy Elliot – "Heartbreaker (Remix)"

SWV – "I’m So Into You (Teddy Riley Remix)"

Salt-n-Pepa – "Shoop"

2pac feat. Digital Underground – "I Get Around"

The Twinz – "Round and Round"

Skee Lo – "I Wish"

Da Youngstas – "Hip Hop Ride"

Zhane – "Groove Thang (Big Jacks’ Blend)"

Jade – "Everyday of the Week"

Tatyana Ali – "Make Up Your Mind"

Mokensteff featr Grand Puba – "He’s Mine (Remix)"

Junior M.A.F.I.A feat. Aaliyah – "I Need You Tonight"

Naughty By Nature – "Feel Me Flow"

Montell Jordan – "Somethin’ 4 Da Honeyz"

Da Brat & Jermaine Dupri – "Funkdafied"

Notorious B.I.G. – "Going Back To Cali"

2pac & Dr. Dre – "California Love (Remix)"

Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg – "Nuttin’ But A G Thang"

Masta Ace – "INC Ride"

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – "Summertime"

Ice Cube – "You Know How We Do It"

Buju Banton – "Champion (Remix)"

SWV – "You’re The One (Allstar Remix)"

Mary J. Blige feat. Keith Murray – "Be Happy (Remix)"

Foxy Brown feat. Blackstreet – "Get you Home"

A Tribe Called Quest – "Find a Way"

Kurupt – "We Can Freak It"

The Dove Shack – "Summertime in the LBC"

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Once again Boiler Room's sofie has come correct. Her latest installment of her SOS Radio series features a guest spot from none other than Stones Throw Records's MNDSGN, who handles the first 40 minutes and throws down nothing but wiley beats from the past and almost-future. Sofie for her own part handles the show's later half with drops by Knxwledge, Space, The Stylistics and Family Choice. It's more the of the same greatness we're used to from sofie, so press play and journey forth on the intergalactic seas of syncopation.

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

(Art by Nick Fulcher)

Keeping things futuristic for a moment, LAKIM and XXL Freshman Class-certified MC Goldlink recently connected for a mixtape that will preview their upcoming East Coast tour. Loaded with the progressive Soulection-approved productions that LAKIM is becoming ever-more-known for, the set is a bit more disco-funk than you might expect and we couldn't be happier about that. Be sure to catch that Nas "The World Is Yours" flip, as well.


LAKIM - "Survival""

LAKIM x TEK.LUN - "Ya Nasty (Unreleased)"

Kaytranada - "Breakdance Party (Unreleased)"

LAKIM - "Whose World Is This? (Unreleased)"

Que - "OG Bobby Johnson (LAKIM Remix) (Unreleased)"

Young Dro - "FDB (LAKIM Remix)"

LAKIM - "Don’t Need You (TEEBURR Remix)"

Chedda Da Connect - "Flicka Da Wrist (Mikos Da Gawd Remix)"

Haan808 - "Believe"

LAKIM - "Contemplating"

Hodgy Beats - "Wild Boy (prod. LAKIM & Marvel Alexander)"

Sam Gelliatry - "Temple (OSOBLANCO Remix)"

Matt McGhee - "Pacnolia My Aroma (feat. THE PZA)"

GoldLink - "Fuck Being Polite (prod. LAKIM)"

LAKIM x Marvel Alexander - "Smoke Weed All Day (Unreleased)"

LAKIM - 'What You Want"

LAKIM - "Wait & See (Unreleased)"

Soulja Boy - "Crank Dat (LAKIM’s Superman Mix) (Unreleased)"

LAKIM - "Remember? (Unreleased)"

Trinidad James - "Gold on My MacBook"

Future - "Fuck Up Some Commas (LAKIM Blend)"

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

(Art by loloandmango)

Embrace a bit of international grooving with A.J. and the Hackney Empire's "Soft Power" pan-African mix. There's truly something for everyone in this celebration of Holmes and the Hackney Empire's new album SOFT POWER, including The Nu-Sounds, Odilio Gonzalez, Crackdust and of course the Hackney Empire itself. It's a bright and beautiful trip through some of the continent's best new sounds, and has us in that summer frame of mind once more.


Hama - "Ataraghine"

Castro D’destroyer - "Seihor (feat. Dblack)"

Twister el Rey - "La Espeluca (feat. Mr Steve)"

Old Money - "Mothership"

The Nu-Sounds - "Spaceship Lullaby"

Fumaça Preta - "Toda Pessoa"

The Dukes Of Stratosphear - "What In The World??... (Demo)"

The Very Best - "Let Go"

Odilio Gonzàlez - "Mi Jibarita Mimada"

A.J. Homes and The Hackney Empire - "Martyn's Elephants Charm"

Tulipa - "Megalomania"

Danbe - "Nee"

Crackdust - "Return Of The Gods"

Gary McFarland - "Here I Am"

Mbilia Bel - "Faux Pas"

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Embrace a smoother, more contemplative side of life with the newest Eavesdrop Radio podcast installment, which hinges upon the theme of "Spiritual Jazz" and is in every way a mind-expanding endeavor. Flying Lotus, The Kindred Spirits Ensemble, Thundercat, The Souljazz Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Syreeta Wright and more all set the tone, which is one of incense and candles, grooves and melodies, us and we. Enjoy.

[iframe https://eavesdropradio.podomatic.com/embed/frame/posting/2015-04-26T21_04_04-07_00?json_url=http%3A%2F%2Feavesdropradio.podomatic.com%2Fentry%2Fembed_params%2F2015-04-26T21_04_04-07_00%3FautoPlay%3Dtrue%26facebook%3Dfalse%26height%3D85%26minicast%3Dfalse%26objembed%3D0%26rtmp%3D1%26width%3D580¬b=1]


Mind Benders - #2

Rise - Shine a Light

Flying Lotus - See Thru To U (ft. Erykah Badu) / Until the Quiet Comes

Kimiko Kasai & Herbie Hancock - Butterfly

Weldon Irvine Jr. - Music is the Key

GB - The Black Monolith (ft. Ricci Rucker)

Saturn Never Sleeps - Lotus

Bei Bei - Make Me Stronger - Make Me Stronger (Floating Points Remix)

Doug & Jean Carn - Higher Ground

Leon Thomas - The Creator Has a Masterplan

The Souljazz Orchestra - The Creator Has a Master Plan

Kira Neris - Kira Neris Theme

Rise - Messages Part I

Thundercat - For Love I Come

Joe McDuphrey Experience - Solar

John Coltrane - Equinox

Jose James - Equinox

Rashaan Roland Kirk - Spirits Up Above

Spinnerty - 53 Pickup

Gary Bartz - Gentle Smiles (Saxy) DJ Day edit

Emanative - Hum Allah Hum Allah Hum Allah (ft. The Pyramids)

The Greg Foat Group - Girl and Robot with Flowers (Part 1)

Kindred Spirits Ensemble - Shining Liberation

Gene Harris - Summer (The First Time)

Sun Ra & His Arkestra - Along Came Ra

I.G. Culture - B Free

TettoryBad - Eternal Freedom

Radio Citizen - The Prophet

Kamasi Washington - Miss Understanding

Soil & Pimp Sessions - Paraiso

Norman Conners - Mother of the Future

James Mason - Sweet Power Your Embrace

Syreeta Wright - Tiki Tiki Donga

Dee Dee Bridgewater - Afro Blue

4Hero - Naima

Jesse Fischer & Sly5thAve - Vein Velter

Yatha Bhuta Jazz Combo - Honey, Hash, Rose

Jimi Tenor & Kabu Kabu - Aligned Planets

Emanative x Zara McFarlane - Lions Of Judah

Incognito - Fearless

Jazztronik - Pathways

Nuyorican Soul - I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun (4Hero remix)

Miguel Atwood-Ferguson feat. Flying Lotus - Drips/Take Notice (live)

Build An Ark - Peace With Every Step

Sa-Ra Creative Partners - Cosmic Ball

Jyoti - The Black Mother

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

First-timer to Okayplayer's Mixtape Monday is Gones The DJ, who delivered an excellent Jazz-inflected mix earlier this month that has enough hard-grooving material to keep even the greatest of hip-hop geeks giddy. Jazzcat (aka Massimiliano Conti) assists with the heavy lifting and treats us all to Boddhi Satva, The Rhythmagic Orchestra, Sleep Walker, Andrew Ashong and John Klemmer amongst many others. Recall the joy of hearing live instrumentation blend into banging beats and back out again by pressing play below.

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

This one is cut and dried: DJ Aware has thrown down an all-45 RPM vinyl mix of nothing but good old-fashioned funk and soul, in this case from artists including Earles Inc., Chaparrals, Soul fantastics, Admirations, Los Silvertones, Irene Scott, Royal Jesters and Jazzie Cazzie. Put on your dancing shoes.

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Lexis of Music is My Sanctuary has done double duty this month and shared two new mixtapes, both dedicated to those morning hours when things move a little slower and being gentle is all the more necessary. Nothing but fresh beats crowd the sonic plate of these mixes, so cop both, funky side up.

Bonus--Side B: