One of the flat-out coolest (I hate that word, too, but it applies here) projects of 2010 came in October when Black Thought, of the Roots, and DJ J.Period linked for what they called the Live Mixtape (Illadelph Edition). It contained live recordings of the MC and DJ rocking shows and seamlessly transitioning between old and new material. Black Thought, for example, flexed a few new verses over classic beats while also digging into his catalog with the Roots.
And in the above video from a show at the Brooklyn Bowl on July 5, you can catch just how well they pull this off. Black Thought spits a slew of bad-ass battle rhymes over the beat for “NY State of Mind” like it was made for him. Of course, it wasn’t as it appeared on Nas’ classic debut, Illmatic, but you’ll see what I mean.