The past few years have ushered in an exciting jazz renaissance with artists blending classical skills, the influence of hip-hop, and more left-field production to create thrilling and wholly original soundscapes. Herbie Hancock, one of the genre's true innovators, has still got his ear to the ground after more than 50 years making music, and he's tapped Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington and more to work with him on his next record.
Speaking with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Hancock revealed his impressive list of collaborators, which also includes Snoop Dogg and Terrace Martin, who will be producing the project. Martin previously produced tracks on Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly and has worked with artists like YG and Travis Scott, proving that his L.A. sensibility and rich musical knowledge can work with a wide swath of artists, and making us even more excited for his work with Hancock.
“I’m learning a lot from the young people I’m working with,” Hancock told the Union-Tribune. “Because they built the new structures, social media and that whole arena, and that affects how you get things out in front of the public to let them know you’re working on something."
Hancock has been talking about writing with Flying Lotus and Thundercat as far back as October 2015, while Martin noted in a March 2016 Billboard interview that he had connected the jazz legend and Lamar and they instantly hit it off creatively.
"It's not like it's just Herbie Hancock over a hip-hop beat. It's like, I'm really digging into his world, and he's digging into the hip-hop, and we're just trying to figure out a thing," Martin said. "In the process of us trying to figure it out, something is happening magically through the music. Something that I've never heard and he's never heard."
Get excited for Hancock's next record and watch our video on whether Lamar is truly the best rapper alive below.