If you’ve ever spent any time studying the links between contemporary jazz, hip-hop, and beats in North America, Detroit-born, but Los Angeles-based drummer, producer, DJ and sometimes rapper Karriem Riggins’ is unavoidable.
Since the early 90s, Karriem has recorded and performed with jazz luminaries like Hank Jones, Oscar Peterson, Milt Jackson, Donald Byrd and Ron Carter, produced for Common, Slum Village, Talib Kweli and The Roots, and worked with Grammy Award winner Diana Krall, and former Beatle Paul McCartney. On his Stones Throw Records released solo albums, all of this comes together, giving us an instructive perspective on how jazz and hip-hop can interact, and what happens when a virtuoso jazz player turns his hand to drum machine and sampler-based productions.
Given the level of influence, the hip-hop and neo-soul artists Karriem has produced for had on the development of New Zealand’s progressive soul and beats scenes in the 2000s, and early 2010s, his fresh remix of ‘Guru’ by Ladi6 is a match made in heaven. Flipping the script, Karriem places Ladi’s smooth vocal against an incredibly funky guitar figure and a looped breakbeat that just won’t quit. Knowing how important Karriem’s work has long been to Ladi6 beatmaker/producer Parks, we can only imagine how happy they would have been when the final mix link arrived in their inbox.
Aside from Karriem Riggins, Ladi6 also teamed up with NZ and Australian producers 10A and Plutonic Lab to create two other future beats and electro funk remixes of ‘Guru’. ‘Guru’ comes from Ladi6’s new EP Royal Blue 3000, with funding love from NZ On Air.