Tag Archives: Main Attrakionz

THEY MAD CUZ I’M FOCUSED

I’ve been listening to so much brand new rap lately that I haven’t had the opportunity to spot a sample in what feels like an eternity.  Not that there aren’t any samples in new rap, but when I was listening to more 90s rap and older funk and soul I was catchin’ em right and left without even trying, now I feel like that super-obvious and not-at-all-obscure K.R.I.T/Blake spotting I had a few months back is like the only mention of sampling this blog has had in forever.  So when this DâM-FunK tweet caught my eye today, I was happy for the opportunity to do some funk research again.  Felt like old times… here’s what I came up with just a few turns down the rabbit hole.

Cameo – Rigor Mortis

This is one of those that when you hear the first measure, you know you’re about to find out this song was used in about 20 songs you’ve heard before, which is correct.  But I was most surprised to hear just a few seconds in when that horn vamp starts because of this old (but newer than most songs that sample Cameo) favorite of mine.

Mondrehott – M.A.N. (feat. Squadda B)

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RAP JOURNEY #18 – FROM HALL & OATES TO B-LEGIT

This one’s been sittin’ on the sidelines for a while; I got tipped off on this Journey on the very day that I posted a different Rap Journey that prominently featured Main Attrakionz and UGK, so I figured it’d be a good idea to let this one sit out for a bit to not bore you all with the same artists over and over.  I couldn’t just let it slide by though, this one’s really good.

My good pal Sarah laid this one out for me (I love it when that happens), I put in no effort of my own into this whatsoever, so I gotta give credit where it’s due.  See she was working one day, and this track came on the stereo at work and she “FLIPPED OUT”, you’ll see why in a second.

Hall & Oates – Sara Smile

No, it’s not because the song title shares her own, it’s because of her love for Main Attrakionz (that you can tell I share if you follow this blog at all).

Main Attrakionz – Elevate Ya Name

Like a true lover of rap and sampling though, she didn’t let the discovery end there, she also unearthed some other really sweet tracks that use that same sample.  I’m surprised I never noticed that Main Attrakionz song and this one sharing the same sample, I’m a really big fan of the album this one’s from.  I guess I need to sharpen my focus a little better.

UGK – Feds In Town

There are some even more far out examples too, Vanilla Ice got ahold of it in ’94 and Soulja Boy rapped over a later section of that original Hall & Oates song just last year, but Sarah felt a special fondness for this one (that interestingly features Daryl Hall on the chorus), and I have to say I feel the same way.

B-Legit – Ghetto Smile

Thanks for the education, Sarah, it most definitely made me smile.

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THUGGIN’ ON A CLOUD

My ultra-perceptive readers will notice that I always end up writing about Main Attrakionz whenever I’m in California.  Right now is no exception, and I think it’s pretty cool that I happened to arrive in the Bay just days before MondreMAN’s birthday, which he celebrated by releasing two new mixtapes, one with a pretty surprisingly high price tag, the other with a variable one.  I think this song explains better than the rest why this stuff ends up in such heavy rotation when I’m in San Francisco watching the fairy tale-level fog roll into the city over the mountain tops.

MondreMAN & NEM270 – Thuggin’ Ona Cloud

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RAP JOURNEY #17 – FROM ASAP ROCKY & MAIN ATTRAKIONZ TO THE ART OF NOISE AND UGK

The other day Reeve got ahold of me to ask if I’d checked out this song yet.

Main Attrakionz – UGK (feat. ASAP Rocky)

Somehow I hadn’t, even though there are three rappers I really like on this song AND it’s named after two rappers that I absolutely LOVE, so how this one slipped by me I’ll never know, but I’m very grateful for getting the late-but-not-too-late introduction to it.  I feel a responsibility to Pimp and Bun to let y’all know what UGK song the hook is taken from, but what really caught my attention was that simple sampler/keyboard part that opens that track up.  It’s got such a recognizable melody and tone, and it didn’t take me long to figure out at least one place where I’d heard that tune before.  It was a song by another duo that, coincidentally, Reeve turned me onto several years ago in their Bake Sale days.

The Cool Kids – Art of Noise

This is actually one of my favorite Cool Kids songs, it’s a little less silly and kitschy than a lot of their more popular stuff is, but it doesn’t sound forced at all, especially Chuck Inglish’s flow on that first verse, that shit just feels right.

I felt like that couldn’t be the only place that sample had been used though, I had this feeling like I’d heard it some other places.  Turns out I was very right, that same sample turns up in a LOT of rap songs from all over the place.  It shows up in the Memphis underground, in a classic 90s New York rap format, and in the ATL trap-rap scene, to name just a few.  But my favorite is probably this one, if for no other reason than the fact that it has three very different artists, one of which had been dead for over 10 years when this song came out, the surviving two coming from the same general region of the U.S. but definitely not sharing much time in the spotlight simultaneously, but they somehow all rap in basically the same style without any of them sounding like they’re reaching at all, it’s pretty amazing.

Lil’ Wayne – Nymphos (feat. 2pac & Ludacris)

OK, I know you might be tired of hearing it by now, but there’s no way I can not finish this up with the original.  It really is a nice listen, so if you’re sick of it now, come back tomorrow and take the time to hear the whole thing.  I think you’ll be glad you did.

The Art of Noise – Moments in Love

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NIGGAS KNOW YA NAME CUZ THEY DONE HEARD IT IN THE WIND

The other day Matt asked me if I could think of a rap album from 2011 that I liked more than 808s & Dark Grapes II from Main Attrakionz, and I honestly had trouble thinking of anything.  There were some close contenders for sure, I loved Return of 4eva, NO YORK was a very pleasant surprise for sure, Black Up was rock solid, but I’m not sure I could say with certainty that I liked any of those more than 808s & Dark Grapes II.

So I was pretty surprised and happy to find that half of that duo with possibly my favorite rap album from 2011 started following me back on Twitter yesterday!  I keep up with a lot of rappers I like on there, but I wasn’t really expecting any of them to follow me, so when I saw that Mondre was returning the sentiment, I posted up this song on my Twitter page to shout out to him.

Then a funny thing happened.  While I was searching for that track to post it, I found this, which I’ve been unaware of while listening to that Mondre album this whole time.

Juvenile – March Nigga Step

Seems like everywhere I turn there’s a new song paying homage to the old school New Orleans scene, and this is probably one of the more subtle ones, so I’m glad I caught it.  What up, Mondre?

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GIMME 5 MINUTES AND A COLD ORANGE JUICE CUZ I’M REALLY REALLY TRIPPIN’

Those of you that are on the REDLiteDJ email list (just send an email to REDLiteDJ@gmail.com to join!) already heard that I joined Twitter a couple days ago.  I have to say that so far, it’s been a very positive experience.  I’m reconnecting with some people I haven’t talked to in a while, and I’m connecting on a new level to people I see regularly as well.  Awesome.

The other cool thing that’s happening is that I’m getting nice little updates from artists I’m interested in, especially those that don’t get much press buzz around them every time they do anything.  For instance, I started following DâM-FunK, and I quickly learned that he has a Tumblr page that he runs called Galactic Funk Federation, and on that page I found this crazy little 4 song mix that some dude named Damon Swindell made where he took some DâM-FunK instrumentals and put some Gucci Mane acapellas over the top.  It’s called Gucci Funk, and it’s free, so I snatched it up and listened to it immediately.

The only real complaints that I have are that he uses censored acapellas (probably that’s all that was available, but it’s still kind of a bummer to listen to Gucci Mane without cursing) and the way the vocals sound doesn’t particularly blend with how the beats sound (only in a mixing capacity, and most likely that’s just how the acapellas he was using sounded to begin with, I’m not talkin’ shit on the man’s work).  But the rhythm of Gucci’s flow works pretty well over some real synthy, west-coast style funk, so it was still a very nice listen.  My favorite is probably this one, where he mixes Gucci Mane & Shawnna‘s “Pillz” with DâM-FunK’s “10 West“.

I wish more really dissimilar artists would collaborate on stuff like this.  I know Gucci and DâM didn’t actually get together to do this, it was mixed by a third party, but I think this proves that there’s some definite potential for the meeting of these two dudes’ styles.  I feel like artists get pigeonholed by their labels, fans, and probably themselves at times into this subgenre or that, but I feel like there are constant reminders that dudes and ladies from different zones can really get together to do some cool shit if they put their minds to it.  I remember first hearing about the Freddie Gibbs/Madlib team-up that’s happening right now and thinking “Whoa, I have no idea what this is going to sound like, but I know it’s gonna be awesome”, and so far it is.  Another good example is the cLOUDLIFE EP that came out recently with members of cLOUDDEAD and Main Attrakionz.  That shit came out of nowhere, to me at least.

I feel like it might even be pretty marketable too, I could see some Gucci Mane fans really warming up to DâM-FunK’s style if they got introduced to it through a collaboration between the two, and vice versa.  What do I know though?  Maybe it’s easier to sell records if people stay in their own lanes, I don’t pretend to be an expert on how to make money with music.  But I do know a thing or two about what sounds badass, and in that spirit, I’m gonna continue to be on the lookout for cool, unexpected collaborations in the future.  Let me know in the comments if you know of any that I didn’t mention.

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FUTURE PAST

This made me realize that if rappers share one mic that’s on a mic stand, it feels just like jazz to me.

Main Attrakionz – 8Ball (feat. Shady Blaze)

Miles Davis – So What (feat. John Coltrane & Wynton Kelly)

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YOU AIN’T GOTTA PROVE YOU HARD, THAT’S IN YOUR HEART

Man I’m real sorry for slackin so hard the past week or so.  It’s been difficult to find time and inspiration to write about the stuff I usually write about on here because I’ve just been in such different circumstances for the past week.  I was staying at my sister’s beautiful house with her beautiful new baby girl just living it up domestic-style nonstop.  It is definitely an experience I’ll never forget, I’ve never spent that much time with a child so small before, and finding out how to interact with this tiny new life was an experience that I’ve never even been close to feeling before.  I loved every minute of it.

What I wasn’t doing much of was listening to music.  They just don’t listen to much music in that house in general, so I didn’t want to be too overbearing with the musical selections I made, and I’m pretty certain they don’t have much genuine fondness for rap, so I was playing a lot of older jazz and stuff along those lines.  I certainly love that music too, but I just don’t have as much to say about it I guess, and it isn’t as interestingly connected with other music and stuff like rap is, so I just haven’t had much to say on here that whole time.  Thanks for stickin’ with me though and checking back, I plan on getting back on track as soon as possible.

Now I’m in California for the next week or so, in a completely different but no less loving situation than last week, and rap music is much more accepted and appropriate in these surroundings than in the suburbs of the Pacific Northwest.  So I’ll just toss up this little video for a song that’s felt especially right in the specific place I’m in right now.  It’s really cool to me how listening to music from a certain place really feels right in that place.  I remember visiting Wills and Draper and Olivia in Georgia a few years back and I’ve never been to a place where Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik felt more appropriate.  This song feels just as appropriate up here.

Main Attrakionz – Diamond of God

Huh, I think I wrote about Main Attrakionz last time I came to California too.  Ah well.

 

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EPMDENNY SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT

The coolest thing happened the other day!  I posted this Rap Journey a couple days ago, and then out of nowhere I get this email from the producer of the song that got me started on the whole journey to begin with!  Crazy!  He hit me up to say thanks for writing about the song he produced (which is hot, by the way), and to let me know that he wasn’t intending to reference the Fabolous song that I pointed out used the same samples and stuff, he was actually unaware of it until reading my post.  He just heard that Commodores track that finishes up that post I did and wanted to make a beat about it.  This was like 5 years ago, according to him.  It seems clear that Mondre knew about the Fab version (as I mentioned in the original post, he quotes the lyrics from it at the very beginning), but EPMDenny wasn’t originally intending to remake that song, it was just a coincidence for him.  So I wanted to set the record straight with you all since he went out of his way to contact me about it, and to say thanks for reaching out to me and stuff I wanna post up my favorite EPMDenny production to date which is on Mondre’s newest mixtape.

MondreMAN – Belly of the Beast

Man I dig that beat.  Thanks a lot for reachin out to me man, shouts out to EPMDenny.  Go check out his music.  I feel like he’s goin places.

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RAP JOURNEY #9 – FROM MONDREHOTT TO THE COMMODORES

This one I didn’t even see coming, I was just going to put somethin up about this one song sounding like another song, but then it turned into a full-fledged journey before my eyes.  It was awesome.  Check it out.

Ever since I got turned onto Main Attrakionz a few months ago (thanks Matt), I’ve been listening to them a bunch, and they’ve got a pretty wide variety of stuff that all really appeals to me.  They’ve got some real floaty sounding stuff, some stuff that’s kinda southern influenced, some straight party music, all kinds of shit.  And it’s all cool.  But anyway, there was this one song by one of the dudes from that group that I’ve been feelin lately, and it’s what got me started on this journey.

MondreHott – Js A Nigga

Feels good, right?  Fuck yeah.  Well the other day I was up at the cofee shop takin care of some stuff, and this song came on the Pandora station Jade and Kelsey were listening to.

Fabolous – So Into You (feat. Tamia)

So when I got home I looked it up, and when I listened to it again I was like man, this is definitely the same music but it sounds different.  Do you hear it?  Just the sound of the instruments and stuff, it’s weird.  I’ve decided that I’m pretty sure that EPMDenny (the producer for the MondreHott song) just remade the beat from the Fabolous song himself with his own instruments and stuff.  They’re not ripping it off though, they’re definitely trying to reference the Fab song directly, he even quotes it in the opening lines (“What kinda drinks you be sippin?  What type of weed you be smokin?”).  So that’s interesting.  I was originally going to just post that up, because it intrigued me, but then I thought it might be wise to find out if that Fabolous song had some history of its own I should look into.

It turns out that the album version of that song actually has Ashanti singing the chorus, but the original version of the song is based on a Tamia solo song from 1998.

Tamia – So Into You

And not only that, but that Tamia song is based on a Commodores song from 20 years earlier!

The Commodores – Say Yeah

Damn!  Over 30 years of passed-along and borrowed funk and I didn’t know about ANY of it until like a month ago.  Thanks to everybody involved in cluing me into the pieces of this and getting this journey started, y’all are awesome.

Hope that was cool, checkya next time.

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