In Lifted, Javon Anderson examines the long-standing relationship between jazz and hip hop.

No conversation about jazz rap is complete without talking about Digable Planets. Comprising rappers Mary Ann “Ladybug Mecca” Veira, Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler and Craig “Doodlebug” Irving, they were firm in their creative ambitions and advanced the sound of alternative, jazz-infused hip hop.

Known for their heavy use of jazz samples mixed with witty, free-spirited, political lyricism, this group eloquently captured the essence of inner-city life in New York during their initial run in the early to mid-‘90s.

One of their hits that stood the test of time is Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat), the single for their debut Grammy Award-winning album Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space).

The foundation of this record doesn’t just sample one loop — it manages to masterfully weave in three samples into one cohesive instrumental while the MCs of Digable Planets take care of the rest with effortless, laidback lyrical flows.