Tag Archives: Biz Markie

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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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. A$AP 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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