Mahershala Ali is the most hip-hop man in Hollywood. Besides enjoying a short-lived rap career himself back in the day (he dropped two albums under the name Prince Ali through Hieroglyphics’ Hiero Imperium label and worked with Planet Asia, Keith Murray and Dilated Peoples’ Rakaa), the two-time Oscar winner has named underground lyricists like Ka, Roc Marciano and Mick Jenkins as some of his current favorite MCs.

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Apple Music recently asked Mahershala to put together a playlist for Black History Month — and instead of it being a cookie-cutter affair featuring corporate-approved picks, it’s further proof that the man has exquisite taste in music. The 25-song collection includes joints from J Dilla, Madlib, The Roots, Mos Def, Nas, Common, Lauryn Hill, Gang Starr, MC Lyte and De La Soul’s Maceo, as well as soul and R&B legends like Marvin Gaye, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Roberta Flack and Ali Farka Touré.

“One of the gifts in acting is that I’m required to embrace the lives of other men,” Mahershala says. “It’s always a Black man challenging me to tell his story with empathy absent of judgment. These songs have inspired qualities in several characters during my exploration of the diverse and beautifully complex Black identity.”

Stream Mahershala Ali’s playlist below.

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