Today I was sitting listening to my $1 copy of Going Steady reading Steady B’s Wikipedia wondering how he’s serving life without parole for a murder he was only the getaway driver for when I heard a groovy little guitar lick that I recognized from my distant past.
Steady B – Anyway U Want It
It took me way too long to put it together, but eventually it came to me. How could I forget!
The Notorious B.I.G. – Just Playin’ (Dreams)
I think it didn’t come immediately to mind because “Dreams” wasn’t an album cut and back in the day when I was listening to a lot of Biggie I wasn’t venturing too far outside of official album material, even from artists I really loved. Despite this misguided tendency, I still acquired this single on wax at some point, probably as an add-on to save money on shipping for some other eBay record purchase, so it was a song I only heard when I played it out someplace, unlike the hours spent on Ready to Die and Life After Death.
Now you don’t have to be a prodigy-level sample spotter to guess that the original is probably some “Hot Pants“-era James Brown track, and you’d be right, but don’t stop the search there! Dig a little deeper into those memory banks and and recall the man who beat both of these dudes to the “Blues and Pants” flip, and arguably out-raps them as well.
Geto Boys – Scarface
For a bonus, in case you’ve become hypnotized by 12 minutes of the same one-bar loop and are now having withdrawals, check out “Announcement“. The video had me flashing back to the now thoroughly creepy Picture Pages in a big way, and with all the recent discussion of rap ghostwriting I can’t help but wonder if a certain Shawn Carter might have played a role in Pharrell’s verse… and if so, why didn’t Common do us all a favor and follow suit?
Common – Announcement (feat. Pharrell)