The Coronavirus pandemic pressed pause in many areas of the music world, and one of them was John Morrison’s acclaimed Culture Cypher Radio show on WXPN. The monthly hip-hop and beyond specialty show has been on hiatus since March, but made its return to the XPN airwaves in a big way this Friday night.

Morrison kicked off the show with the Michael Kiwanuka-featured “Bow” from SAULT’s remarkable (Untitled) Black Is LP, and took listeners on a three-hour journey through rap, jazz, Afrobeat, psychedelia, and more.

Morrison played cuts from Madlib, Ras G, Roy Ayers, and The Heliocentrics. He spotlighted Philly beatmakers and soundscapers (DistantStarr, Lil Dave) and local underground rappers (ShrapKnel, Yikes the Zero), plus several appearances from The Roots and their lead MC Black Thought, who just released his new solo single.

And Morrison shared imaginative covers — Nautilus’ reinvention of De La Soul’s “A Roller Skating Jam Named Sundays,” Anderson .Paak’s rendition of The White Strips’ “Seven Nation Army,” The Oakland Elementary School Arkestra feat. Marshall Allen covering Sun Ra’s “We Travel the Space Ways,” and a beautiful take on John Coltraine’s “Naima” by 4hero to close the set.

Listen to the entire three-hour show and check out the playlist below. Culture Cypher Radio returns to XPN in August.

Culture Cypher Radio – 07.17.2020
7 p.m.

SAULT feat. Michael Kiwanuka – “Bow”
ShrapKnel – “Red Herring (Alternate Take)”
Apollo Brown & Che Noir feat. Black Thought – “Hustle Don’t Give”
Gangstarr feat. Inspektah Deck – “Above The Clouds”
Quelle Chris & Chris Keys – “Living Happy”
Blu & Exile – “True & Living”
Lil Dave – “In The Park”
Lil Dave – “Distanced”
Donald Byrd – “Thick Twice”
The Roots – “Distortion to Static (at Ease mix)”
Yasu Pacino & Quest – “Da master (Dedicated to Dev Large)”
Ground Floor – “One Two”
Distant Starr – “Karma”
Distant Starr – “Keep Practicing”
Aisha Fukushima – “Sweet Sounds”
Ras G – “Peace (Salaam)”

8 p.m.

Anwar High/Sign – “Whole Lotta Trouble”
Botany – “Blacktop Mirage”
The Free Design – “Where Do I go (Madlib remix)”
KinKai – “Better Today”
Roy Ayers – “Reaching the Highest Pleasure”
Greyboy – “Outerlude”
Omar feat. The Floacist – “Feeds My Mind”
Solaris – “Space Invaders”
Heavy D – “Don’t Curse”
Nautilus – “A Roller Skating Jam Named Sundays”
The Skull Eclipses – “Spacecrafts in Rajasthan”
Momocurly – “End of the world”
Suzi Analogue – “Smoke”
Nelson Bandela – “Successfully Art”
Orion Sun – “Lightning”
Adam Geez & Yikes The Zero – “Ghost Smoke”
DJ Harrison – “Easy Ridin'”

9 p.m.

Pete Rock & CL Smooth – “Check It Out”
Anderson Paak – “Seven Nation Army”
Jay Electronica – “Fruits Of the Spirit”
YL – “Group Therapy”
Joe Malinga & South African Force – “i Twenty Five”
DJ Smash feat. Monday Michiru – “Fly With Me”
Lucky Peterson – “Our Future”
Black Thought – “Thought vs. Everybody”
DJ Krush feat. Black Thought & Malik B – “Meiso”
Grooveman Spot – “Untitled No. 1”
The Oakland Elementary School Arkestra feat. Marshall Allen – “We Travel the Spaceways”
The Heliocentrics – “99% Revolution”
Musiq Soulchild – “I Wanna Be Your Lover”
Madvillain – “Shadows of tomorrow”
4Hero – “Naima”