Week after week, you can count on DJ Bro-Rabb, a core member of Durham’s long-standing DJ crew The Butta Team, to drop one of his signature Throwback Thursday mixes via Twitter. He’s either flaunting his expertise on thematic mixes like “Fly R&B” and “Bedroom Chill” or decoding the discographies of select soul and hip-hop icons like Stephanie Mills, Rick James, Nile Rodgers, Ice Cube and Boot Camp Clik, among others.
This week’s mix is centered around upcoming Art of Cool Music Festival (April 24-26) headliner Roy Ayers. Bro-Rabb excavates some of the legendary vibraphonist’s funk and soul classics, such as “No Deposit, No Return” and “Feelin’ Good,” while also calling to mind some of the big hip-hop moments in which they’ve been sampled—A Tribe Called Quest’s “Bonita Applebum” and Puff Daddy’s “Been Around the World,” respectively. Maybe you’ve heard N.W.A.’s “Fuck tha Police,” on someone’s protest soundtrack lately? Those muddy guitar licks are from Ayers’ 1974 arrangement “The Boogie Back,” which Bro-Rabb also includes here.
In addition to Ayers’ Friday evening set for Art of Cool Fest, he’ll also be taking part in the festival’s inaugural business and musical innovation conference, “Innovate Your Cool.” Ayers, soul-sampling producer 9th Wonder and Duke professor Mark Anthony Neal will sit down for a roundtable discussion titled “Examining the Musical Legacy of the Neo-Soul Pioneer Roy Ayers.”
For a primer on both events, download or stream Bro-Rabb’s twenty-minute “Roy Ayers Sample Challenge mix.”