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 BBNG so unique: their ability to meld jazz and instrumental hip-hop into something so elusive, so unique, something altogether their own.

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VMP Edition Features:

  • 2LP, lavender color vinyl
  • Exclusive jacket color
  • Die-cut sticker with digital download card
  • 12” x 12” original art print by Vlad Sepetov


Why this record?

Starting a jazz trio in college and getting big off of albums full of instrumental rap covers might sound like the setup for a James Franco and Seth Rogen movie but in the real world, it’s the origin story of BADBADNOTGOOD, Ontario’s no-longer-best-kept secret. While the account of the group disappointing their music professors with Odd Future renditions must already be the stuff of conservatory legend, it’s still hard to grasp just how naturally they’ve adapted from posting smoothed out takes on trap anthems on their Bandcamp page to being one of the most important influences in the ongoing Jazz resurgence alongside the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Tyler the Creator. But maybe it makes sense. Jazz has always thrived on the type of heady rebellion that finds rest in the questions rather than the answers. And while in some ways IV is a far cry from Coltrane or Davis, in many ways it’s not. It has the same hunger. The same spark. The same world weariness and joy that both remind us why, no matter where we are, Jazz is what we’ll be playing when the world goes dark.

Jazz has become a bit of a universal language since its inception, and it will always be one of the most significant musical revolutions ever to happen. Which is why BADBADNOTGOOD is so important. They’re one of the most talented groups shaping the next evolution of one of the most essential forms of music we have. They’re part historians part pioneers and, while much could be said about their breadth of work so far, their gargantuan talent, or the near-blinding qualities of their future, the thing I find myself wanting to do most, time and time again, is to quiet down and listen to this again, and closer. I think it will be the same for you.

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