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