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HIP HOP US3 - Hand on the Torch (Blue Note): Rappers have been sampling jazz since the days of break dancing. But no one has raided the standards as extensively as Us3 on this debut release. At the heart of this music are two British producers who were given carte blanche to raid Blue Note Records' jazz-catalog. With their own stew of instrumentalists and rappers, the duo fuses rhythms of hip hop, be-bop, and swing into one delirious, liquid dream. Laid-back street rhymes glide over legendary jazz grooves from some of Blue Note's best (Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey). Brace yourself for the ultra-funky ``Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)'' - it's sure to keep you moving till the sweet beat drops.

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