Snoop Dogg has remixed BADBADNOTGOOD’s “Lavender (Ft. Kaytranada).” The original track is from BBNG’s recent album, IV, and now has a new verse added by Snoop. The collaboration came about naturally after Snoop first heard the instrumental “Lavender” when an engineer was playing it before a studio session. Enamored with the track, Snoop quickly cut a verse to it and the rest is history. “I love what they do, shit feels so real. And when I heard the instrumental on their album I had to do it,” explains Snoop. Artwork for the single was created by Joe Cool, the original artist behind the iconic Doggystyle artwork.
Like musical theatre and scripted television, jazz and hip-hop are uniquely, undeniably North American art forms. Though the latter genre was born out of funk and disco in the late 1970s, many of its landmark artists embody the ethos of jazz: loose, visceral, instinctive. Some hip-hop acts–A Tribe Called Quest, or more recently Kendrick Lamar–have successfully repurposed jazz, but the older genre has seldom made successful inroads into new generations of rap fans. And that’s what makes BADBADNOTGOOD, the four-piece, Toronto-bred jazz outfit that has melded jazz and instrumental hip-hop into something elusive, something altogether their own.
On their latest full-length effort, Saxophonist Leland Whitty, a long-time collaborator, joins Chester Hansen, Matthew Tavares, and Alexander Sowinski on a full-time basis; for the first time, guest vocalists are welcomed into the fold. Some artists find collaboration stressful and cluttering, but BBNG simply seems freer to chase down creative rabbit holes than ever before.
The effect is apparent immediately. See “Lavender,” a collaboration with the Montreal-based producer Kaytranada, which pairs delicate, skittering production with a punishing low end. Or take the virtuosic closer, which underscores superb performances by Whitty and Tavares with a grand swell of strings. On “Hyssop of Love,” upstart Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins moves languidly, stretching out taunts (“I heard your plug was drrrrry”) before he snaps upright (“Never needed no dollars to prove worth”). The result is not just BBNG’s most expansive, most dynamic effort to date, but their best. Lest anyone think the group is only concerned with blurring genre lines, the title track alone is enough to ensure the most discerning jazz purists will have to respect BBNG’s technical chops.
1. And That, Too
2. Speaking Gently
3. Time Moves Slow (Feat. Samuel T. Herring)
4. Confessions Pt. II (Feat. Colin Stetson)
5. Lavender (Feat. Kaytranada)
6. Chompy’s Paradise
8. Hyssop of Love (Feat. Mick Jenkins)
9. Stucture No. 3
10. In Your Eyes (Feat. Charlotte Day Wilson)