Tag Archives: Slum Village

RAP JOURNEY #15 – FROM MONICA TO DILLA

I just wanna say right off the bat that Amber hooked me up with every step of this journey, I did some very sparse research to hook it all together, but the real work was all done for me.  So  hats off to her for this, it’s a good one.

It started with her gettin’ curious about this Monica jam from back in ’95, when she was only 14 years old!

Monica – Don’t Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days)

She did some lookin’ around and found out that it used some elements from a couple songs, one a little more recent than the other.

LL Cool J – Back Seat

The Detroit Emeralds – You’re Getting A Little Too Smart

Now if you listen close to the drum beat in that Detroit Emeralds song, you might just recognize it from more than a couple other tunes from around that same time as the Monica song.

Raekwon – Incarcerated Scarfaces

Common – The Light

The Light” isn’t the only place Dilla used that drum beat in his production, it’s in this Slum Village track as well.

Slum Village – Climax

Just like that Minnie Ripperton eye-opener from a little while back, this is another good example of a bunch of songs that I’ve listened to bunches of times but somehow I never put together that they shared some common ancestry until I heard the song that they were all pulled from.  It’s especially surprising that I never noticed this because “The Light” has probably one of my favorite drum loops of all time, it just totally takes me over the second it starts.  But I needed somebody to walk me through realizing that all these other songs that I listen to all the time use those same drums.  Thanks for the illumination, as always, Amber.

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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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RAP JOURNEY #13 – FROM GUCCI MANE TO BIRDMAN & LIL’ WAYNE

Yeeeahhhhhh… I’ve been lookin forward to Gucci Mane’s new mixtape since I first heard about it a couple months back.  The couple videos I saw leading up to it were real promising, and when I finally got to sit and listen to the whole thing yesterday I was real pleased.  It’s tight.  Possibly the most surprising track on there for me is “Get It Back“; if you’ve ever played Tetris before you’ll probably be pretty surprised too.  Hearing that song for the first time and also hearing this song for the first time real soon after made me wanna put together a video game-centered rap mix, that would be so cool.  Mike, I’m lookin’ in your direction…  But that’s not the song I meant to talk about.

The first track of the tape, after the intro, is this song.  Check it.

Gucci Mane – Back In ’95

Like I said, I was excited about this tape comin’ out already, but I had no idea the first song on there would make reference to one of my favorite groups of all time.

UGK – Pocket Full Of Stones

And it’s cool Gucci chose this song of UGK’s to reference, because it gives me the chance to bring up this other song that re-imagines “Pocket Full Of Stones” in a slightly different way.

Birdman & Lil’ Wayne – 1st Key

I’m a total sucker for when rappers are rapping and then a little sample pops in to finish a line, it fuckin’ gets me every time.  And this is one of my favorite examples of this phenomenon I think, they do a really good job with it.  Word is they’ve got a new album comin’ out soon too… very exciting.

Hey this one stayed totally within the confines of the rap world, we didn’t get any soul/funk/whatever samples at the core of all this, that’s interesting.  Is that the first time that’s happened?  I think it is.  Cool.  See y’all!

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LET THE BEAT BUILD #4 – NAS

I guess the cat’s out of the bag as far as my excessive, undying love for The RZA and the whole Wu-Tang Clan after that last post, so it should come as no surprise that I jumped at the opportunity to see them live a few years back when their tour came through this part of the country.  I still had to go all the way to Chicago to see ’em, but man was it worth it.  It was definitely one of the most star-struck moments I’ve had in my life, seeing all those dudes just a few feet away from me after listening to them and seeing in them in videos for years.  I even got to touch Method Man when he crowd-surfed after performing his self-titled single from Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)!  Fuckin’ unreal.

But it wasn’t just those dudes that I got star struck by that day.  That same day I got to see Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, Slum Village, and, last but absolutely not least, Nasir Jones, aka Nas.  He was the only one at the show to perform without a DJ, which I thought was a little weird, but I got over that real quick because he really did an amazing job performing all the songs he did.  I’ll particularly never forget this one, because the live context only intensified the crazy build this beat goes through.  I still kinda can’t believe I got to witness this.

Nas – One Mic

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