RAP JOURNEY #18 – FROM KENDRICK AND JAY ROCK TO BILL WITHERS

When I first heard this track, it actually reminded me of a lot of when I was researching tracks for my rap-songs-that-sample-video-games mix, a lot of that stuff has this kind of caricature of classical music vibe to it, but it’s pretty obvious by the instrumentation of this one that this is no 8-bit sample.

Kendrick Lamar – I Do This (feat. Jay Rock)

So I got curious about where this music came from, and was very pleasantly surprised.

Bill Withers – Don’t You Want to Stay

I think it’s interesting that when Sounwave produced that Kendrick/Jay Rock track, he left the funky loop that comes right after that intro section completely alone and just keeps that intro loop going the whole time.  If I’d produced that song I feel like I probably would have done something more like what happens in this Biz Markie version.

Biz Markie – Romeo & Juliet

But maybe I’m just living in the past, it seems to me that more and more rap production has been leaning toward more dramatic and grandiose musical backgrounds than simple, stripped-down funky ones, and while it’s not a direction I would have expected or chosen myself, I do enjoy the newer sound in many cases.  It’s cool to see the separation so blatantly expressed here, with the song from the early 90s focusing on the funkier section and the song from the early 2010s focusing on the more classical-sounding section of the same original song.  For a little education on this transition, revisit this Mannie Fresh interview, he’s one of the big dudes responsible for it.

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