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Jazz Samples in Freestyle Fellowship's "Convolutions"

A freestyle-focused rap collective from Los Angeles might never have made it into your classroom listening examples, but it just so happens that one of their briefer tracks is rapped over Miles Davis's "So What".  A very cool & quick listening (especially for your budding jazzers!!).

“Convolutions” - The Freestyle Fellowship

Intro: The Freestyle Fellowship was formed in the early 1990s in Los Angeles, CA, as a part of the the underground hip-hop collective known as Project Blowed. “Convolutions” appeared on the groups' first album To Whom It May Concern... in 1991. 

Analysis: The most prominent feature of “Convolutions” is that the song contains rapping over a large sample of Miles Davis's 1959 standard “So What”. The jazz classic follows the thirty-two bar format of many popular songs, however, “Convolutions” is extremely short (only 46 seconds) and only features a comparatively short section of “So What”. Also notable about “Convolutions,” besides the fact that it repeatedly references connecting jazz and hip-hop, is that the first rapping to appear on the track is highly imitative of scat-singing, even using some scat syllables. 

Considerations for Teaching: This song contains no inappropriate subject material or language and serves as a strong example connecting hip-hop and jazz, both lyrically and with its use of a classic sampled track.

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