Remember record stores? Remember the thrill of turning your friends on to new music by swapping vinyl and CDs? Yeah, we do too. That’s why we’re rebooting that tradition for the digital age with our “Crate Digging” video series, in which we’ll search through crates of our memories to bring you a handful of album recommendations on a given theme. It’s social media in the truest sense of the term: no algorithms, no computer-generated playlist. Just jazz fans sharing records with other jazz fans.

You can watch a full-length discussion of the albums via the video player below. Write-ups of individual albums and sample tracks follow. Welcome to the party. This week we bring you a list of some of our favorite albums where jazz meets hip-hop. (You can also listen to our Crate Digging podcast via the player below.)

Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope, 2015)

Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly is a major large-scale work that, aside from carrying messages ranging from social justice to self-love, shifts seamlessly from interior monologue to universal resonance. Some of the songs have even become anthems for the Black Lives Matter movement, including “Alright.” The LP’s richness in sound and dense instrumentation, as well as its devil-in-the-detail attitude
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