Tag Archives: Q-Tip

THEY HEART AND SOUL IS DIVIDED

I didn’t come back to California with many souvenirs, but I can never resist picking up a few bargain bin records when I come across them.  I snagged up a copy of Peter Tosh‘s Legalize It that turned out to be too warped to play except for the inner bands of each side (that one was free), and the other one was this, which I would have bought based on the cover alone, even if I had no idea who Minnie Ripperton was.

Minnie Ripperton – Inside My Love

I had some time to just sit back and listen to this record the other day and I was really feelin’ it, and then that break a little after the 3:00 mark came in and I got that aural double-take brain zap that I’m all too familiar with at this point.  This one was especially interesting because I could immediately think of two places where that almost identical sample were used, but I never put together that both of those songs came from the same place until I heard the original.

Busta Rhymes – You Can’t Hold the Torch (feat. Q-Tip)

Electric Wire Hustle – Perception

God I just want to be that bassline in “Perception”, I could just listen to that forever.  I’ve listened to both of these songs so many times, and yes, that Electric Wire Hustle track has the sample playing backwards, but it still seems super obvious now that I’ve heard where they came from.  I also never guessed that the super high-pitched sound that sustains almost all the way through both of these songs is actually Minnie Ripperton’s vocal, she can definitely hit them high notes.

A little deeper digging uncovered a wealth of songs that share this same inspiration as well.  Everybody from Freddie Gibbs to Aaliyah to A Tribe Called Quest to Pharcyde to Killah Priest to 2Pac to Slum Village has used this same little snippet.  Kind of amazing.  I had no idea I was picking up such a significant piece of rap history when I dropped that $0.99 at the Goodwill in Sausalito.  Crazy.

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CAN’T HELP BUT NOTICE HOW YA GLOWIN’

Those who have been with me from the beginning will remember the very first post I did on this blog where I stumbled across the inspiration for one of my favorite T.I. songs ever: “What You Know“.  Well, I just found out today that the very next rhetorical question-titled single T.I. put out from that same album also has some surprising beginnings.

T.I. – Why You Wanna

I always knew that the chorus was a reference to the beginning of Q-Tip’s second verse in A Tribe Called Quest’s “Find A Way” (there’s actually a remix of “Why You Wanna” that has a Q-Tip verse on it, too), but I didn’t know that the beat also has a notable predecessor.

Crystal Waters – Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)

Not only that, but during this research I also discovered that that the Roberta Flack song that served as inspiration to “What You Know” that I talked about in that first post ever is actually a reinterpretation of this song.

The Impressions – Gone Away

Now I think “Live In The Sky” was the next single on King, I wonder what I’ll find out about that song in a few months…

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RAPPERS AND MOVIES

You don’t have to listen to much rap to hear about a billion references to Scarface, Goodfellas, and movies of that type, but this Vibe article just came out asking what non-gangster movies they were really into, and it had some kinda interesting stuff in it.  I do have a couple qualms with some of how it was treated; many rappers still chose pretty gangster/crime movie titles (Juice, Mean Streets, New Jack City, etc.) and for an article that’s supposed to be interesting because it surprises you with “soft” movies being appreciated by people with very “hard” personas, they asked a fair amount of rappers who weren’t that “hard” to begin with: Common, Q-Tip, etc.  But there still were some interesting choices, Big K.R.I.T. chose There Will Be Blood, and for a pretty interesting reason, and my favorite was Sean Price, who chose Good Will Hunting.

I was real smart in school. I used to be really kind of a nerd almost when I was young, like grade school. I was in the top of my class always and I was into video games. But then by the time I was fourteen I was selling crack. That’s why I relate to that movie. A lot of smart poor kids who never get a chance because of their wild upbringing.

I think this is the kind of stuff that article was fishing for, and I really like that answer a lot.  I’ve always liked that movie too but I never thought about the part of me liking rap being at all related to the part of me liking Good Will Hunting, that’s pretty interesting to me.  But he brings up a really good point and it’s cool that he could relate to a character like that.

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RAP JOURNEY #12 – FROM THE BEAT KONDUCTA TO BLACK IVORY

Dang, I’ve been writing about Madlib a lot lately, so seems appropriate that I should share this one with you all now.  I actually wrote this a little while ago, but I don’t like to have too many Rap Journeys right in a row, seems better to spread em out a little.  So here ya go!

I’m sure you can imagine my excitement writing this post after how giddy I was about figuring out a Madlib sample back in this post.  This one’s even more crazy and involved than that one was, and I’m pretty pumped about bringing it to y’all.

This is one I’ve been curious about for a while, and it took a little encouragement from ol’ Mike Allen to get my off my ass and actually figure this shit out, and I’m glad he did.  See we’re both real big Madlib fans, and so we’ve both put in plenty of time listening to the Beat Konducta series he’s put out over the years.  I remember being at Amber’s house getting things set up for Trent and Sammi’s wedding and this album was playing while me and Mike (and like 15 other people) were doing God knows what trying get everything ready in time.

Madlib the Beat Konducta – Understanding (Comprehension)

Man, that beat feels so nice.  But like most Malib stuff, I don’t hold out much hope of finding where that shit came from, that dude’s got records I could only dream of hearing, much less owning.  But then two years later, this Q-Tip album came out, and besides being just an awesome album, it made me think that Understanding sample might be a little more attainable than I once thought.

Q-Tip – Gettin’ Up

But like I said, laziness and forgetfulness took hold of me and I never took the time to get to the bottom of this connection.  I could tell Q-Tip didn’t just grab a chunk of that Madlib sample, Tip’s version of the sample is a little bit longer and just sounds different, so I figured he must have gone to the source to use it.  Then when Mike heard this Wiz Khalifa track, he decided to hit me up and see if I knew where it came from cuz it was showing up all over the place now.

Black Ivory – You and I

It took 5 years of being lazy before I took just a few minutes to track down this sample, but I did it.  Thanks for making it possible, Mike!  Here’s a bonus for you to make up for my sluggish research pace on this, I checked out that Black Ivory album and found this track.

Black Ivory – I Keep Asking You Questions

Which, 23 years later, birthed this classic.

Raekwon – Criminology (feat. Ghostface Killah)

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LIFE IS BETTER

I wanted to do some kind of post inspired by my mom while I’m in Tulsa hanging out with her, and today at lunch she mentioned that she likes Norah Jones’s music, and it reminded me of this song.  I actually didn’t know there was a video for this song till today.  Thanks, mom!

Q-Tip – Life is Better (feat. Norah Jones)

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