In Hip-Hop and Beyond: Roy Ayers [Playlist]

Source: Polydor

Vibes galore from A Tribe Called Quest, J Dilla, Madlib, Large Professor, MF DOOM, and so many more.

Of its myriad mothers and fathers, hip-hop has arguably inherited the largest bulk of its immutable cool from vibraphonic virtuoso Roy Ayers.

HEAR: In Hip-Hop and Beyond: Bill Withers

If Clyde Stubblefield imbued it with a rhythmic skeleton, it was Ayers that provided the veins of hip-hop. Whereas some contemporaries have warred with “four-bar phantom loops,” Ayers embraced them, absorbed them even. He was the very phantom behind the loop, a principal architect that’s shaped movements well beyond the cool, soulful, politically-edged crossover jazz of the 70s aughts, and into the disco-leaning tail of the decade. As hip-hop left its infancy, it was his mallets that ushered in its maturation. If Native Tongues caught the jazz, it was all his damn fault.

HEAR: In Hip-Hop and Beyond: Michael Jackson

Today, in celebration of his 78th birthday, we’ve gathered some of his greatest contributions to a distinctly American canon. 30 tracks spanning multiple eras, disciplines, and disciples, featuring selections from Jay Dee, The Beat Konducta, Old Metal Fingers, and the gamut of Golden Age gawds.

Hear it all in the latest installment of In Hip-Hop and Beyond below. Hit the link to subscribe to Okayplayer’s Spotify channel for even more guided meditations on the path of rhythm.



Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

Published by

Recent Posts

Scales Of Nappy Roots Shot And Kidnapped In Atlanta

On Wednesday night, Scales of rap group Nappy Roots was robbed, shot and kidnapped from… Read More

August 18, 2022

Terence Etc. Found Balance in the Chaos of Creating His Debut Album

Terence Etc. discusses the creation of his new album, V O R T E X,… Read More

August 18, 2022

Tevin Campbell Publicly Comes Out as a Gay Man

R&B vocalist Tevin Campbell appeared on podcast PEOPLE Every Day to publicly come out for… Read More

August 18, 2022

Ye Defends Decision to Sell Yeezy Gap Collection in Trash Bags

Ye spoke exclusively with Fox News about the backlash he's received from selling his Yeezy Gap… Read More

August 18, 2022

Brooklyn Public Library Has Launched a Vinyl Collection

Brooklyn Public Library has opened a vinyl collection for teen and adult cardholders to borrow… Read More

August 18, 2022

Dr. Dre Credits JAY-Z & Nas For Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show

While on podcast Workout the Doubt, Dr. Dre credited JAY-Z and Nas for convincing him… Read More

August 18, 2022