Here’s a pretty cool fact. If Miles Davis hadn’t died in 1991, we could’ve have seen a hip-hop effort from him around 1993, making him another notable name in hip hop’s golden age. Davis’ last studio album (released posthumously) is called Doo-Bop, and it showed the beginning of his shift towards hip hop.
I heard of Doo-Bop for the first time about a week ago, and I decided it seemed like a pretty interesting topic, so I looked into it some more. I’ve listened to as many tracks off the album as I could find, mostly through SadSteve. The album didn’t get incredible reviews, and I think most jazz enthusiasts (the stereotypical snobby ones) didn’t approve of the album, considering it to be a pretty watered-down version of the typical jazz.
The reason this album never really took off, I think, is due to the fact that it had such a specialized niche. You couldn’t really call it a jazz album because it wasn’t necessarily as jazzy or as intricate as previous jazz recording, therefore not terribly enjoyable to the typical jazz fan. In the same vein, it’s not really a hip hop recording, because the lyrics (when they’re there) are pretty weak to be honest. I consider this more of a transitional album, and it’s a shame that his career had to end on it. If Miles Davis had lived long enough to put out one more album after Doo-Bop, I believe he would’ve had an incredible impact in bringing together the jazz and hip-hop scenes.
Give Doo-Bop a chance. Listen to “Sonya” or “Mystery” to hear some great, modern Miles compositions, and try out “Blow” and “Chocolate Chip” to hear Miles’ sound along with some sampling. I personally like the album a lot. It’s a great listen that really shows some musical evolution. Worth checking out for sure.