For “Listen In,” we ask musicians to curate a mixtape-length playlist of songs they’re currently digging. Click the big play button above to hear the whole playlist or scroll down to see and hear individual tracks.

When rapper Your Old Droog‘s first mixtape dropped in June 2014, it stirred up a flurry of conspiracy theories among internet sleuths who were convinced that it was recorded by legendary rapper Nas using a new alter ego. Those rumors were put to sleep after Droog’s first public appearance, revealing himself to be a man with Ukrainian heritage from Coney Island. He just recently dropped a new EP titled The Nicest and is performing at Brooklyn venue Baby’s All Right this Friday with Chelsea Reject. Check out his annotated playlist below.


LL Cool J – “Mr Goodbar”

“People forget how dope LL was. The last few couplets of his last verse on here are disgusting.”


Kool G Rap – “Streets of New York”

“Storytelling at its finest. G rap was the nicest.”


The Notorious B.I.G. – “Dead Wrong (Produced by Easy Mo Bee)”

“Biggie was the nicest. Great to hear this classic song over the beat to which it was originally laid.”


JAY-Z – “Do It Again (Put Ya Hands Up) ft. Amil, Beanie Sigel”

“Jigga in one of his primes. This verse is filled with so many quotables. #thenicest”


Mobb Deep – “Allustrious”

“Prodigy was untouchable at one point. #thenicest”


Igor Stravinsky – “The Rite of Spring”

“Sometimes being the nicest has nothing to do with lyrics. Instrumental music is the wave.”


Jean Luc Ponty – “Twenty Small Cigars”

“Good to hear some electric violin. My son Jean Luc get busy.”


Jeff Beck – “Pork Pie Hat”

“One of #theNICEST guitar players covering one of my fav jazz standards. Can’t go wrong.”


Miles Davis – “Blue in Green”

“A sentimental song.”


Jimi Hendrix – “Little Wing”

“Another sentimental song by one of #thenicest guitar players.”