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Some of my best friends are beat tapes: essential instrumental hip-hop releases from the last 15 years

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Yesterday, we published Laurent Fintoni’s comprehensive guide to the history of the hip-hop beat tape.

Plotting a path from Fab Five Freddy through to Flying Lotus, the piece explored how the medium has developed, mutated and flourished over the last three decades. By way of accompaniment, Laurent has also compiled a list of 13 essential modern beat tapes, collected here with download/streaming links.

With contributions from masters of the form (J Dilla, Alchemist, Dibiase), lesser known practitioners (Dert, Ta’Raach) and a couple of plucky Brits to boot (Hudson Mohawke, Bullion), it’s a wide-reaching selection. Whether consumed as a companion to the original article or a go-to primer in its own right, the following rundown is stuffed with must-hear examples of tapes no self-respecting hip-hop can conscionably go without hearing.

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