Roy Ayers Talks Hip Hop Sampling, Touring With Guru

The 79-year-old Jazz legend recalls touring with Donald Byrd and Guru for "Jazzmatazz" and says being rediscovered via Hip Hop samples "is a delight."

Over the years, Roy Ayers has been sampled and/or replayed by the likes of Dilla, Pete Rock and A Tribe Called Quest to name a few. Recent changes in copyright laws have created a climate where sampling can be extremely expensive, and there’s the additional issue of some artists just not being fans of having their work sampled. But Ayers doesn’t fit into the latter category, and he recently spoke to OutDaBox TV about having his music embraced by a new generation of Hip Hop fans and artists.

“I had no idea that was gonna happen, as a matter of fact it was a surprise to me that so many Hip Hop artists started sampling my music,” Ayers said of his resurgence in popularity throughout Hip Hop’s Golden Era. “I thought it was a fantastic thing as it started happening…I was wondering how they knew about my music, but they had made themselves aware of my music and they started sampling it.”

Ayers said he initially found out about a new generation discovering his music by accident. His children began hearing various tracks that sampled his earlier works, but unlike some artists, Ayers took the sampling in stride. He added that he sought out artists like Q-Tip and Pete Rock in hopes of finding out what in his music appealed to them. In addition to giving his permission clear samples, Ayers has also recorded with several emcees.

“I recorded and toured with Guru,” Ayers added. “I did Jazzmatazz with him, and then we toured with Donald Byrd. It was a very delightful experience because, in those particular crowds that came to see us perform in Europe as well as the USA, people were [both] young and old.” 


  • Bowski

    When you think of legends you think about cats like Roy Ayers. I'm making it part of my mission to buy all of his CDs within my lifetime. He dropped an ill gem on the topic of creativity/commercialism. His music is pure genius and always puts me in the right frame of mind, kinda hard to explain. God Bless him for real.


    well many of the old fucks who refuse the royalty checks are already fine and situated, playing their vinyls till they pass on. But others love to know that 13yr olds NOW, will prob listen to their music for decades to come, AND they get royalty checks lol

  • Anonymous

    This guy is the truth, other jazz musicians that acted bitterly and sued upon sample could take note from him. Sampling is a form of showing love and can lead to the ressurge of great music or can bring old music to a new audience.

  • eazystr33t

    Roy Ayers 1 of the greatest musicians of all time, point blank period.

  • Weberolivier

    Roy Ayers. Legend. One of most beautiful things about hip hop is how it has recycled amazing black music from the past. Hip hop was always fresh, but aware of history. I love that Roy Ayers was given a new lease by hip hop, and is giving props back

  • IDK

    Roy Ayers is the truth. I really love his songs "Searchin" and "Everybody Loves the Sunshine," both the original and the sampled ones you hear in some hip-hop songs :D

  • Anonymous

    I like this. yall need more of this before this guys are gone.

Most Popular News

Most Discussed News