Karriem Riggins is best known as a jazz drummer and hip-hop producer for artists like Common, Kanye West, The Roots, and Kaytranada, but he doesn’t categorize himself as anything but an artist.
For , his second album on Stones Throw Records, Riggins expertly builds on his credentials with 29 tracks of pure hip-hop—each track deftly crafted with swing that only a drummer would know. Swing is the weapon. And there’s always a message, be it verbal or instrumental.
“Headnod Suite is a concept of several rhythmic ideas fused together,” Riggins says. “I wanted to explore the power of interludes and marrying different styles and harmony together.”
On , Common makes a reciprocal vocal appearance on “Yes Yes Y’all,” which gives way to literal grunts from James Brown and the 1-2 shot of “Trombone Love” and the 16-bit funk “Crystal Stairs.” If 2012’s Alone Together was right at the intersection of hip-hop and jazz, Riggins’ current path is less the jazz found in his family and career lineage, and more the hip-hop culture he found on his own.