Monthly Archives: November 2011


I finally finished watching this monstrous Mannie Fresh interview, and there were so many times I wanted to stop and make a post about whatever he was talking about at that moment cuz he covered SO much crazy territory, but I knew I’d never finish it if I did so I just pushed on through ’til the end and I’m so glad I did.  He talks about so many amazing subjects that he has a very unique perspective on;  he talks about the history of rap in New Orleans, he breaks down Bounce music and tells its history, he explains the progression of his own sound and how Back That Azz Up was his attempt at fusing classical music with New Orleans Bounce, he talks about meeting and working with artists like Lil’ Wayne and Juvenile when they were first coming out, it just goes on and on.  He even talks about how when he heard the Jay-Z remix of this song I wrote about a little while back, that he knew that he’d made it in the industry.

The thing that seemed most appropriate for me to write about here though was this little thing, just because it shows how music that seems so far removed can often times be super connected (see my previous post for evidence of this).  He was talking about the song Bling Bling, which was of course a huge song for Cash Money and for hip hop in general

B.G. – Bling Bling (feat. The Hot Boys & The Big Tymers)

But you would never guess where he got the inspiration for the beat from.

Jonzun Crew – Space is the Place

And the best part is, that song also takes its inspiration from an extremely unlikely place.

Sun Ra – Space is the Place

Wait wait, weren’t we talking about Bling Bling?  Yeah, we were.

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Today at work Matt was rockin the The Harder They Come soundtrack, which is always a sure-fire way to brighten my spirits, and was much appreciated.  Then, to my surprise, when I got home I found out that Jimmy Cliff was actually on Jimmy Fallon just last night performing none other than “The Harder They Come” along with “World Upside Down” from a new album he’s putting out!  I just couldn’t believe the synchronicity of that, so I figured I should share it with you all.

There’s no way for me to embed the live videos on here yet, so I’ll put up the original version taken from the film down below, but click the links above to see the Jimmy Fallon performances, seriously.  It’s amazing to see him in the present day, backed by The Roots no less.  Very moving.

Jimmy Cliff – Harder They Come

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This one really came out of left field, and it’s all thanks to my good buddy Mike Allen.  Thanks dude.

So my friend (and MVP commenter on this blog) Tim hooked me up with a bootleg of this J Dilla album called Pay Jay that was supposed to happen years ago but got caught up in some record label bullshit and never got released.  It was a very interesting departure for Dilla, who was mostly known (and still is mostly known) as a producer primarily, but on this album he wanted to get beats from all of his favorite producers and make an album where he just rapped and that’s it, to really show off his skills (which he has plenty of).  So the album is 11 tracks, all non-Dilla produced, with him laying down some of his most solid lyrical material I’ve ever heard him do.  If you need to get your hands on a copy, hit me up and I’ll get it to you somehow, it really is something to behold.

Anyway, I passed the album along to old Mike a little while ago, and then he hit me with this email today that pointed out that the song “Drive Me Wild” from that Dilla album bears a striking resemblance to this Foo Fighters song he knows that is also is also called “Drive Me Wild”.

J Dilla – Drive Me Wild

Seemed like it couldn’t be a coincidence, so  I checked out the Foo Fighters song, and it’s wayyyyy too similar for it not to be a purposeful connection.

Foo Fighers – Drive Me Wild

But I figured it was a little far-fetched that Dilla would so boldly reference somebody like the Foo Fighters (although I wouldn’t put it past him, judging by some of the shit he’s pulled from before), so I dug around a little bit and tracked down this song, which is actually pretty cool, I think, and definitely the inspiration for both the Foo Fighters song and the J Dilla song.

Vanity 6 – Drive Me Wild

Thanks again, Mike, for pointing this out to me, I probably would have never tracked down any of this without you.

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The other day I posted this Sade song in relation to an MF Doom song, and as kind of an afterthought pointed out this one instrumental break in the Sade song that I felt like could make a cool beat maybe, and then the craziest thing happened.

My old, old buddy Zach, who was (no pun intended) instrumental in getting me into rap in the first place, and getting me into music in general actually now that I think about it, posted a comment on that post that was like “yeah that part got me goin too” with this link, and I was like “hmm” so I clicked it, and he’d somehow acquired that Sade track, sampled it, and worked it out into a full four-minute beat in the span of like 36 hours from me posting that original song.  I mean by now I should be used to being amazed by the musicality of that dude, it’s happened since I first knew him when we were in fuckin middle school, but that shit just blew me away, so I figured the least I could do was shed a little more light on it since I know not everybody digs into the comments section of every single post.  But maybe now you will since you see what kind of wonderful gems can turn up!

Zach Miller – Fresh Victim

Fuckin’ A dude.  Thanks for your continued inspiration.

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The other day, somebody was playin some old school Mos Def at work (maybe Jasmine?) and it reminded me of this one song of his that I always really liked, but I especially like a certain remix of it.  That’s just the beginning though.

Here’s the original, for completeness sake.

Mos Def – Beef

Definitely a cool song, right?  There’s this funny thing that happens sometimes though, a producer will remix a song and make the vocals actually sound more natural over the new beat, rather than the one they actually rapped over. I think this remix is a good example of that.  It’s from a mixtape called Mos Dub, check it.

Mos Def – Johnny Too Beef

Maybe you’ve got a different opinion, but I think Mos Def’s flow fits awesome over a dub reggae-derived beat.  I’m surprised he doesn’t do it more.  Maybe Yasiin Bey will move things in that direction…

Another cool thing about this remix was that it turned me onto the original version of this reggae song that I like a lot.  I knew about and always loved the Bunny Wailer version of this song, but that’s not the one Max Tannone used for his remix.

The Slickers – Johnny Too Bad


Hm, I feel like that was kind of a quick one compared to how they’ve been going lately, but we still covered a lot of ground I think!  Hope y’all enjoyed this Rap Journey.

For all you newcomers out there, if you want to see the previous installments of this series, just click the link that says “Rap Journey” to the left underneath the date of this post and you can see all of em laid out for you.  And you can also scroll to the bottom of the page and click on an artist in the tag cloud you’re interested in and see all the posts I’ve made about that artist!  So handy!  Love you all…

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Damn.  Sade.

I’d heard her name for years, and I’d been meaning to listen to her music for so long, but I kept putting it off.  Then, after reading the interview I wrote about in this post, I finally decided to make it a priority, and I picked up her album Promise at Guestroom Records a week or two ago.  I quickly discovered I’d been putting her off for WAY too long, and I’m excited about exploring the rest of her treasures.

Aside from her music just being cool as hell though, there was a little bonus on the first track that made me smile real big.

Sade – Is It A Crime

Now maybe you smiled for a different reason, that’d be very understandable, there’s a lot to smile about in that song.  But this is what got me.

MF Doom – Kon Karne

I love how he adapts that “wider than Victoria Lake / taller than the Empire State” line from the Sade song into a few different variants at the beginning of each verse.  I also feel like the little break that happens at 4:43 in that Sade song would make a pretty cool beat —  I’m lookin at you Metal Face, I know you’re reading this right now.

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Last night was kinda interesting.

First, I found out I skate goofy-foot, then I played a real old-school pachinko machine inside someone’s house, and then I had a real long conversation with Josh about how awesome this song is, and how amazed we both are that it never got transformed into a G-funk hit.

Evelyn “Champagne” King – I Think My Heart Is Telling

I just keep waiting to hear Snoop come in, he never does though…



I’ve actually already shared my favorite song that centers around the phrase “thank you” back in this post, but that one’s a pretty heavy one, and I’m trying to avoid that feeling right now if at all possible, so here are a couple others.

Z-Ro – Thank You (feat. Lil’ Flip)

Electric Wire Hustle – Thank You Steve

Boyz II Men – Thank You

Thanks to YOU ALL too, you’re the best.

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Here are 2 songs called “Can’t Let Go” that are really great.  Cuz sometimes you just can’t.

Sleepy’s Theme – Can’t Let Go

Anthony Hamilton – Can’t Let Go

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After reading the Boots Riley interview I mentioned in this post that talked about E-40’s track “Practice Lookin’ Hard“, I tracked down the EP that song was on and found this other single called “Captain Save A Hoe” that is fuckin GREAT, and the video is priceless too.  Check it out.

E-40 – Captain Save-A-Hoe

Then a couple days later I was drivin over to my friend’s house and I was re-listening to the old UGK album Dirty Money because I hadn’t listened to it in a while, and I had a whole new appreciation for this song.  I think you’ll see why.

UGK – Choppin’ Blades

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