Tag Archives: Sade

RAP JOURNEY #26 – FROM EZSD TO Z-RO

After growing up in a place where the only active music scenes were Christian and hardcore (or hardcore Christian), it’s so refreshing to live in Oakland where the rap scene is not just currently active but has roots that are older than I am and split in all kinds of unexpected directions.  Sure, before moving here I knew the essentials: E-40, Too $hort, B-Legit, Spice 1, Lil’ B, and maybe a couple others, but living here for the past three years has exposed me to so many more and with each new discovery my desire to rep the Bay in any kind of rap discussion grows.  Thanks to The Martorialist I’m now heavy into Nef the Pharaoh, the Jacka’s untimely passing has caused me to delve deeper into his (and other lesser-known Bay Area artists’) music than I ever did before, Noz put me on Turf Talk last year, the list goes on and on.

Today I got another addition to that list when SergDun posted a photo of his copy of Game 2 Be Sold by the Fairfield duo E.Z.S.D.  I wasn’t sure if it was just an interesting Bay Area rap oddity (G Funk from Fairfield?) or if it was a truly solid album at first, but he assured me that it was “easily” better than Snoop’s album of nearly the same name (which is a really good album) so I had to see what the deal was.

Serg was not bullshittin’.  Besides having maybe the funkiest rap song ever recorded and some of the thickest bass of the 90s, there’s one unusually upbeat track with a prominent sample that made me want to dig a little deeper.

E.Z.S.D. – Money Makin’ Genius

Turns out it’s a flip of a moderately popular disco/funk track from 1980 by the group that arguably beat Sugarhill Gang to the first rap record spot.

Fatback – Gotta Get My Hands On Some (Money)

I admit it’s not the most mindblowing revelation to hear the original in relation to the sampled version, “Gotta Get My Hands On Some” isn’t exactly the deepest, rarest cut by any means and its treatment by E.Z.S.D. is great but nothing revolutionary.  The really interesting thing about it is its connection to a very different song that is primarily a masterful reworking of “Geto Boys and Girls” but also has a little sprinkle of Fatback as it turns out.

Z-Ro – Eyes On Paper

Add this to the list of corny 80s songs that you’d think Z-Ro would be embarrassed to be associated with; he did the same thing with “Cherish the Day” on “Respect My Mind“, with “True” on “Continue 2 Roll“, with “Holding Back the Years” on “Rollin“, with “Outstanding” on “Still Standing“, and the goofiest was when he turned “Ring My Bell” into “Bring My Mail“.  I’m glad I’ve got one more example of this strange penchant of Z-Ro’s for turning thirty-year-old cheeze into SLAB gold, and I’m glad I’ve got the Bay (and Serg) to thank for it.

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I BECOME A SOLDIER WHEN IT’S WAR TIME

When I first started getting into Sade (see these posts for some of that history), one of the most common comments I’ve gotten from people about her is “Oh yeah, my mom really likes her.”  It’s funny that she’s such a big hit with the white moms around me, but also with some of my favorite rappers too.  I heard this new track from a Bay Area cat named Droop-E that makes a pretty obvious Sade reference, and it reminded me of this older Z-Ro song that I think does an even better job of reinterpreting it.

Z-Ro – Respect My Mind

Sade – Cherish the Day

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FRESH VICTIM

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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MY LOVE IS

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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YEAH, YEAH, YEAH. SADE IS AWESOME. SHE’S SO COOL. HAVE YOU MET HER?

I really like it when a magazine or something sets up an interview, but instead of sending out an interviewer, they just get some other person involved in the stuff the person being interviewed is to interview them.  Did that make sense?

Example: I just read this interview where Tyler, the Creator interviews Nas for XXL, and it’s really awesome.  I feel like I learn way more about the people in interviews like that, they just kinda get comfortable with each other and talk about normal shit and it gives a much more intimate picture of who that person really is.  I guess the formal kind of interview is good too for like factual shit, like telling complete stories and stuff.  But for getting a little portrait of the person just as a person, I think this format is perfect.

I mean when else are you gonna hear Tyler, the Creator say some shit like this:

Being low-key is awesome…

That doesn’t come out when they’re bein put on the spot by some journalist to defend their whole ideology and aesthetic, you know?  I love it.

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