Max Roach | BeBop x HipHop
At the 100th year after his birth, the estate of Max Roach has elected to approve specific initiatives which serve to further establish the legacy of the drummer, composer, and activist in a manner authentic to his spirit and vision.  To this end, the family has engaged Blacksmith (Dave Chappelle, Vince Staples, De La Soul, Talib Kweli) to curate cultural experiences and creative production celebrating Max’s extensive contributions:
  • Max Roach was one of the two leading drummers defining the bebop era (along with Kenny Clarke) and was one of the leading musicians, composers, and bandleaders in jazz since the 1940s. 
  • His often biting political commentary, strong intellect, and rhythmic innovations, kept him at the vanguard of jazz for more than 50 years.
  • His early, visionary recognition and nurturing of HipHop as a cultural force, especially through his mentorship of Fab 5 Freddy influenced the spread of the movement from the street to mainstream and across the mediums of recorded music, live performance, TV, and Film.

Blacksmith will be collaborating with MASK Consortium & SCHMTCS Media to bring Max Roach BeBop x HipHop to performance stages. This live narrative & performance experience will delve into Fab 5 Freddy’s earnest retelling of Max Roach’s request to explore the emerging “rap thing.” This reimagined version of “Estate Fresh”, Max Roach’s Hiphop collaboration with Fab at the Kitchen in 1983, will showcase the evolution of jazz and hip-hop, intertwining Max Roach’s legacy with the contemporary hip-hop scene. The performance will leverage unseen footage from the Roach Family and Library of Congress Archives, providing a unique historical context.