One random evening, I was trawling though iTunes podcasts in search of a decent classic soul / R&B mix for bedtime – I generally need music to fall asleep and have even created sleep playlists for me to doze off to. I downloaded single episodes from different ones to get a sense of whether they were worth it or not. And then I came across DJ Mike Rizzy’s  and this has become one of my go-to podcasts  with wonderful mixes of hip hop, soul, R&B, 80s, reggae, old school and the like. Some of my favourites are below with his comments and track listing (Click on headings to link to actual mix).

Beats By Just Blaze

Just Blaze definitely made his mark in the game. As one of the marquee producers on Rocafella, Just Blaze along with Kanye brought soul sampled beats back to the forefront on the classic Blueprint album. Just Blaze went on to produce for just about every big name from Mariah Carey to Nas to Rihanna with an incredible run of hits that’s still going today. So here’s my personal favorites by this dope Producer/DJ.

I Got Over Love – Major Harris, I Really Mean It – Dipset, Throwback – Usher, Why You Hate The Game – Game feat. Nas, Song Cry – Jay-Z, Girls Girls Girls – Jay-Z, Oh Boy – Camron, Breathe – Fabolous, Compton – Kendrick Lamar feat. Dr Dre, Allure (Just Blaze Remix) – Jay-Z, U Got What I Need – LeToya, You Got Me – Mariah Carey feat. Freeway, Live Your Life – TI feat. Rihanna, Makes Me Wonder (Just Blaze Remix) – Maroon 5, Exhibit A – Jay Electronica, My First Love – Carl Thomas, C’mon Remix – Mario, Everytime – Jon B feat. Dirt McGirt (Ol Dirty RIP), Can’t Let You Go – Fabolous feat. Lil Mo, Never Been In Love Before – Talib Kweli, What We Do – Freeway feat. Jay-Z, Storm Remix – Lenny Kravitz, Cross My Heart – Billy Stewart, Exhibit C – Jay Electronica

Just Blaze

 New Edition Classics

Everyone from my era grew up listening to New Edition.  They were such a big part of my childhood and it’s no coincidence why they’re still relevant today.  So if you were too young to witness this great era in music here’s something to get you caught up.  You’ll probably find it better than what you hear on the radio these days.  Enjoy.

Crucial – New Edition, Don’t Be Cruel – Bobby Brown, On Our Own – Bobby Brown, Every Little Step – Bobby Brown. Hot Tonight – New Edition, If It Isn’t Love – New Edition, Stone Cold Gentleman – Ralph Tresvant, Popcorn Love – New Edition, NE Heartbreak – New Edition, Sorry You’re Not My Kinda Girl – New Edition, Sensitivity – Ralph Tresvant, Mr. Telephone Man – New Edition, Hit Me Off – New Edition, You Don’t Have To Worry Remix – New Edition, My Secret – New Edition, Count Me Out – New Edition, Cool It Now – New Edition, Can You Stand The Rain – New Edition, Rock Wit’Cha – Bobby Brown, With You All The Way – New Edition, Lost In Love – New Edition, Earth Angel – New Edition, I’m Still In Love With You – New Edition, Roni – Bobby Brown, Is This The End – New Edition

New Edition

The Soul of Pete Rock

People often ask me who my top 5 producers are.  My reply is always J Dilla, DJ Premier, Q-Tip, Rza, and this man Pete Rock.  It’s like you can just feel his soul pouring through his beats.    A lot of people that listen to my mixes are big Dilla fans and nobody has had a bigger influence in Dilla’s beats than Pete Rock.  I can’t stress how much of a genius this man is.  When you make music that’s from the heart and not trendy you’ll eventually be timeless.  So keep your here today gone tomorrow club beats.  The music I listen to will still be dope 50 years from now.  So sit back, relax, and let me take you on a musical journey with the Chocolate Boy Wonder.

Elizeth – Bud Shank, Mind Blowin – Pete Rock feat. Vinia Mojica, Square One – INI feat. Pete Rock, Rather Unique – AZ, Searching – Roy Ayers, Searching – Pete Rock & CL Smooth, The Awakening – Ahmad Jamal, It’s On You – Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Center Of Attention – INI feat. Pete Rock, The World Is Yours – Nas, Holdin It Down – Big L, Fakin Jax – INI feat. Pete Rock, The Game – Pete Rock feat. Raekwon, All The Places – Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Try Love Again – Natural Four, It’s A Love Thing – Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Take Your Time – Pete Rock, Before You Walk Out Of My Life (Pete Rock Remix) – Monica, Once Upon A Time – Slum Village feat. Pete Rock, To Each His Own – INI feat. Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Large Professor, In The House – Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Give It To Ya – Pete Rock feat. Little Brother, N****z Know – Pete Rock feat. J Dilla, Risin To The Top – Keni Burke, Take You There – Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Lots Of Lovin – Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Fly Till I Die – Pete Rock feat. Talib Kweli, CL Smooth, I Got A Love – Pete Rock & CL Smooth, The Joy – Kanye West feat. Jay-Z, Pete Rock, They Reminisce Over You – Pete Rock & CL Smooth

Pete Rock

Simply Saadiq

Raphael Saadiq is hands down one of my favorite artists.  A rare talent that can do it all.  Sing, write, and produce beats with the best of them. People forget he was once part of the Ummah production team which included Q-Tip, Ali, and the late great J Dilla.  He’s been able to keep changing with the times from his early New Jack Swing days with Tony! Toni! Tone!, to the boom bap Dilla influenced Neo Soul days, and his latest Motown revival sound. Worked with pretty much everybody considered to be the upper echelon of hip hop and soul. So here’s a short collection of tracks blessed by the living legend.

Whatever You Want – Tony! Toni! Tone! It Never Rains In Southern California – Tony! Toni! Tone!, Trippin – Lucy Pearl, Everyday – Lucy Pearl, Still Ray – Raphael Saadiq, Lady – D’Angelo, They Can’t – Lucy Pearl, Be Here – Rapahel Saadiq feat. D’Angelo, Ask Of You – Raphael Saadiq, Music – Joss Stone feat. Raphael Saadiq & Lauryn Hill, Without You – Lucy Pearl (J Dilla Remix), What They Do – The Roots feat. Raphael Saadiq, Glow – Kelis, So Lady – Mary J. Blige, Lalala – Lucy Pearl, We Fight Love – Q-Tip feat. Raphael Saadiq, Rifle Love – Raphael Saadiq, Anniversary – Tony! Toni! Tone! Untitled – D’Angelo

Mike Rizzy

Some of these are over 2 years old and are still dope.

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About Kojo Baffoe

Of Ghanaian/German heritage, raised in Lesotho and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kojo is the proverbial slashie, the professional ‘jack of all trades.’ He is an entrepreneur, writer, facilitator, content architect, former men’s magazine editor and speaker. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) with majors in Economics, Marketing and Business Administration from the former the University of Natal (Durban), now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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