Sometimes it seems weird that people like Roy Ayers still actually exist in the world. You get to be a legend when you cross the generational divide and the South Central-raised, Brooklyn-owned vibes player has been one since rap producers re-discovered him in the early 90s. Get your hands on any of the essential albums that he cut in the 70s or his 1980 masterpiece with Fela Kuti, Music of Many Colors. And nearly 50 years after his first album, he continues to perform with the languid power of an aging heavyweight champ.
Today is Ayers’ 72nd birthday. To celebrate, the always dependable, Ev Boogie and United Crates of Up North Trips compiled a mix of bangers that borrowed the sounds of Ayers, including DMX, Mase, Mobb Deep, and a “Passing Me By” remix from The Pharcyde. It’s below the jump, alongside a stellar 2011 Ayers mix done by KCRW’s Anthony Valadez. You need both.