Digable Planets


Though they were not the first to synthesize jazz and hip-hop, Digable Planets epitomized the laid-back charm of jazz hipsters better than any group before or since. The trio's 1993 debut album, Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space), was a gold/platinum mellow ride packed with samples from Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, and Curtis Mayfield, and the single "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" became a Top 20 pop hit.

After earning a Grammy for Best New Duo or Group and embarking on an ambitious tour that included several live musicians, the Planets returned in late 1994 with their best album yet. Blowout Comb continued the group's jazz-rap fusion, but also saw them branching out to embrace the old school sound of the street as well. Digable Planets formed in the early '90s, when Butterfly (b. Ishmael Butler, Brooklyn, NY) and Doodlebug (Craig Irving) the 2 later met Lady Makka , Silver Springs, The three hooked up in Washington, D.C., and began recording. The original band's first single, "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)," released on the Pendulum subsidiary of Warner, years ago and hit the R&B Top Ten while their debut, Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space), was a critical and commercial success. Digable Planets' resulting tour had a laid-back vibe more in keeping with a jazz show than any hip-hop concert, though the live musicians were criticized for doing little more than re-creating samples from the album.

The trio solved that problem with the release of their second album, Blowout Comb, in late 1994. Much stronger than its predecessor, it used fewer samples and even included several solos. With no strong single to carry it, however, Blowout Comb's sales performance was not as commercially received as ‘Reachin'. After Blowout Comb, Digable Planets basically dissolved due to the dreaded "creative differences". All three continued making music separately, but despite many promises that the recordings would become actual releases, nearly a decade passed before releases appeared from Butterfly's Shabazz Palaces project, New band members have joined to create 2010 "Cool Like That" CD.

 




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