The Christian McBride Band has been in residence here for 2 days, teaching and performing. I had a piano student this morning who was relatively new to jazz, as many young musicians in college are. Usually I learn something from my students every time I teach, and this morning was no exception. He told me that he started out listening to hip hop, and that he was fascinated with some of the samples they used, so he would look up what the sample was on the CD credits, then go find the original album. Somebody sampled Ahmad Jamal apparently, so thanks to that hip hop record, he got into the REAL Ahmad Jamal and has been a jazz fan ever since.
It took me by surprise... I had never thought of hip hop as a possible doorway to appreciating jazz. I've played on a couple of hip hop records, the most well known being the keyboard hook on Slum Village's hit "Tainted" in 2002. That hook actually came from the chords in Billy Strayhorn's intro to "Star-Crossed Lovers" from the Such Sweet Thunder album. But overall I'm not really a fan of hip hop, because I don't like the violence, misogyny and general stupidity of the lyrics of MOST rappers... some obviously are above all that and do carry a positive message. But not many, in my opinion. Anyway... I can't say I'd say no to Jay-Z if he wanted to use a sample of mine, even if the lyrics were a drag!