How does Robert Glasper and Miles Davis’ Album <i>Everything’s Beautiful</i> (2016) Move the Legacy of Jazz Rap Forward?


  • Isobel Savulescu


This article proposes that Robert Glasper’s album Everything’s Beautiful (2016) represents a significant change in both the creative process and possibilities of the sub-genre of jazz rap that emerged in the late 1980s. I present an overview of the history of jazz and hip-hop, defining their key musical characteristics alongside sub- genres including popular, gangsta, and jazz rap. I then argue that Glasper re-works recordings of the jazz legend Miles Davis in an organic way so that they are not static snapshots nor samples nor remixes of his music; rather, they interact as a dialogue that allows Davis’ music to both shape and be shaped by the distinct voice and presence of Glasper. This allows Glasper’s album to speak not just of jazz as a phenomenon of the past, but of the ongoing relevance of Davis’ music today. Davis is therefore present both inside the music and outside of it as a leader, a unique position which allows Everything’s Beautiful to transcend the boundaries of both its time and genre.

Author Biography

Isobel Savulescu

Isobel Savulescu is an aspiring student of a range of musical studies, with a particular interest in the production and analysis of contemporary works. Of her varied compositional pieces, her most recent radiophonic work involved recording sounds from the Blue Mountains region to create a depiction of the space, with particular emphasis on the problematic role of humans in this space. Isobel has completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney with majors in Music and English. Over the course of this degree she invested herself in broadening her compositional and critical skills, engaging in diverse classes such as Jazz Riots and Revolutions, from which this article originated. Isobel has recently commenced a Doctor of Medicine at the University of Sydney, during which she hopes to pursue her interest in the intersection between music, neuroscience, and mental health.