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

On the Internet, people interact with music in ways that can birth some of the most unlikely genres and subcultures. In this extremely connected world, it’s easier than ever to morph and mix together influences to reflect different walks of life and touch audiences that you might not have even known were out there.

The late Japanese hip-hop producer Jun Seba — otherwise known as Nujabes — has epitomized this cross-pollination. Early in his career, Seba was especially passionate about hip hop and made a mark on the Japanese scene with his two releases Metaphorical Music (2003) and Modal Soul (2005). He also owned two record stores in Shibuya and founded the independent record label Hyde-Out Productions while only in his twenties. He collaborated with many artists from all around the world including Shing02, Substantial, MINMI, Fat Jon, Uyama Hiroto and Pase Rock.

Nujabes is known for his choice of modal jazz samples mixed seamlessly with many elements of turntablism, breakbeats, and boom-bap-styled drums that are more common among Western hip-hop producers. Drawing from his huge record collection, Nujabes favoured warm analog sampling along with live instrumentation to make his sound more cohesive. One example is the track The Final View, from Metaphorical Music, which samples Yussef Lateef’s Love Theme From Spartacus.