I have wanted to write a blog on this subject for some time now and there's no better time than 1:23 am as i sit here 45 minutes from the canadian border, sleep deprived and contemplative. I enjoyed the recent release of "Black Radio" by Mr. Robert Glasper and his experiment brothers and thought that he contributed something worthy to both genres that can serve as inspiration and a blue print of one type for the future. Both art forms require dedication and technical skill. I think the allure of combining them is in the true spirit of jazz exploration and experimentation. Purist may not understand or believe this should be an undertaking for any serious artist, but anytime new ground is to be broken it is often broken by the few, and the lonely. Is there any other way?  If you are fully immersed in both art forms then inevitably a percentage of musicians will not be able to resist the allure of entering  the lab and attempting "mixing" and searching for this new sound. I think being honest and true to oneself about what is required to seriously explore both genres is obviously a requirement to do it well as well as a child like curiosity. I've searched many years for that" new" type of sound and one day just made the decision that if i gave up years in pursuit of a genre that may not even be accepted or appreciated so be it. I think the rigor of instrumental music studies combined with the soul bearing honesty of a true hip-hop lyric are endeavors that some of artist simply can not resist.Much thanks to Mr. Glasper and all those that come after him who have the courage to push this new envelope and continue to search for this new and exciting sound that we all crave and enjoy so much. God bless and guide the explorers of this new uncharted frontier in music as the spirit of Miles Davis meets the rawness of Run Dmc in the new age. One....                   J. Gray