Culture Cypher Radio August Chart: The power of tradition from James Brown to Siah & Yeshua - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

When writing about the April 2021 episode of Culture Cypher Radio, I talked a lot about tradition and how tradition informs my work as a DJ, and writer. Hip Hop itself is a culture that is fueled by tradition. Before breakthroughs in sampling technology made it possible for us to digitally capture and repurpose recorded audio from the past, early hip hop DJs relied on records to make new traditions out of old ones. In many ways, Culture Cypher Radio tries to do that, honor old traditions and create something new and the music that gets played on the show speaks to that practice.

Many of the songs played on this month’s show speak to this dynamic tension between new and old traditions. When Siah & Yeshua’s “A Day Like No Other” was initially released in 1996, the 11-minute epic broke with tradition with its lengthy narrative and ever-shifting musical structure. The live version of “Soul Power” comes from James Brown’s Revolution Of The Mind, Brown’s third album recorded at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, a living cultural landmark of Black American musical tradition. This month’s show ends with a song dedicated to my mom, my first teacher and introducer of tradition. “The Creator Has A Master Plan”, is a beautiful composition by Pharoah Sanders and the singer Leon Thomas. As a kid, my mom would talk about seeing Sanders and Thomas perform the tune at Arthur Hall’s Ile Ife cultural center in North Philly, which is now known as The Village Of Arts & Humanities. Today, you can walk into The Village and still see black and white photos from the old Ile Ife days on the wall. Names change, but traditions remain.

Listen to the show and check out the playlist, as well as this month’s chart, below.

Culture Cypher Radio – 2021.08.20

1. Isaiah Rashad – Claymore

2. Moor Mother feat. Nappy Nina, maassai, Antonia Gabriela, Orion Sun – Made A Circle

3. Pat Van Dyke feat. (Melinda Camille) – Love You Inside & Out

4. ewonee – Belief

5. Siah & Yeshua – A Day Like No Other

6. James Brown – Soul Power

7. 4 Mars – Tamarta (Power) 

8. Figmore – Rosie

9. DJ Shadow & DJ Krush – Duality

10. Leon Thomas – The Creator Has a Master Plan

Beastie Boys – Root Down (Live At the Tibetan Freedom Concert 1997)
Statik Selektah feat. Lil Fame, Smoke DZA, Rim da Villain -No More
Ghostface Killah – Chez Chez La Ghost (Remix)
Figmore – Rosie
Apifera – Lake VU
Isaiah Rashad – Claymore
Isaiah Rashad – Headshots (4 Da Locals)
Madlib & Four Tet – The New Normal
Snagapuss & Ramzee – The Flesh
4 Mars – Tamarta (Power)
Mndsgn – Hope You’re Doin Better
Pat Van Dyke feat. (Melinda Camille) – Love You Inside & Out
Emma-Jean Thackray – The Sun
The Steoples – In The Dance
Q-tip – Work It Out (Fela blend by Lil Dave and Sonny James)
Thomas Schumacher (featuring Kaori Kaneko) – Good Life
Talking Heads – Crosseyed And Painless
Dr. Aftershave & The Mixed Pickles – Gurus For Sale
Hus Kingpin – Hannibal Hus
Moor Mother feat. Nappy Nina, maassai, Antonia Gabriela, Orion Sun – Made A Circle
Moor Mother feat. loiji – Shekere
ewonee – Belief
ewonee – Bending Corners
Siah & Yeshua – A Day Like No Other
DJ Krush & DJ Shadow – Duality
Armand Hammer & The Alchemist – Indian Summer
Beastie Boys – Paul Revere
Erykah Badu – Soldier
Funkmaster Flex – Sad &. Blue
Amber Sunshower – Running Song
Omar – Doobie Doo
James Brown – Get Up Get Into It Get Involved
James Brown – Soul Power
Bluestaeb feat. Ric Wilson – Whoa Wait
Blu & Exile – Music Is My Everything
The Roots – DillaTude: The Flight Of Titus
Ghetto Blaster – Na Wa Ya
noname – Reality Check feat. Eryn Allen Kane & Akenya
Planet Asia – The Aura
Infinite Potentials – Escapizm
Yikes The Zero – Trust
Verbatum Jones feat. Four 8 – Samson
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