I first interviewed AF the Naysayer in 2015 after the release of The Autodidact Instrumentals Vol. 1. The album/long EP collected tracks that began life as songs to accompany a Baton Rouge rapper, but when the project fell apart, the pieces got the opportunity to stand on their own. They had the living, breathing pocket of a J. Dilla song—an influence, AF says—and the sonic language of ’80s.
DJ Shadow has not forgotten his roots. His current "Renegades of Rhythm" tour with Cut Chemist pays tribute to the pioneering hip-hop DJ Afrika Bambaataa, and two will work from records pulled from Bambaataa's collection of more than 40,000 pieces Tuesday night at the House of Blues.
DJ Shadow's Endtroducing presented a new way to think about DJs in 1996 as he liberated samples from their support roles for emcees and used them to construct trippy, soulful compositions with a groove. Since then, his career has helped make way for the EDM explosion of the last few years, though he is definitely a DJ. Shadow is tour now in support of Reconstructed: The Best of DJ Shadow (the regular version and the limited edition box set).