Sunday, January 28, 2007
Life Is A Quest---Love Is A Quarrel...
"The Show" ---The Roots
In 1997, Priority Records released a compilation called In Tha Beginning...There Was Rap. The LP featured a collection of old school hip-hop tracks covered by a variety of rappers who reigned supreme in the mid-nineties. It could have been an ingenious idea (at least from a marketing perspective), but for the most part, the results were pretty damn disappointing. Sean Puffy P. Diddy Combs could have kept his version of "Big Ole Butt", and Coolio's take on "Money (Dollar Bill Y'all)" was equally unnecessary. That said, I always thought that The Roots actually did a pretty tremendous job covering "The Show", a classic hip-hop joint that was originally recorded by Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh. Hear how The Roots flipped the joint, but be sure to pay respect to the architects by checkin' this video of Rick and Fresh performing a live medley of their tracks.
"Best Part"---Self Scientific
I'm sure that a lot of the hip-hop fanatics in the house are already somewhat familiar with this L.A. duo. Chace Infinite and DJ Khalil may not have gotten much respect when it comes to commercial success, but the consistent quality of their musical efforts has helped them become an essential component of hip-hop's underground for the past several years. "Best Part" is one of my favorite joints from their 2001 LP, The Self Science. Although Chace's rhymes tend to be more thoughtful than the garbage a lot of MCs are spitting these days, it's the production that succeeds in making this track so dope. Khalil killed it, resuscitated it, and laid it to rest all over again with this beat.
"Drunk Man"---Eddie Harris
This tune is perfect for the early morning hours when I'm up smoking one last cigarette before I drag my tired and intoxicated ass to bed. If you give this a listen, maybe you can relate. Eddie played several instruments, but was mainly known as a jazz tenor saxophonist. He released some popular records during his lifetime (1934-1996), but his experimentation with various styles and uncanny sense of humor sometimes caused critics to be skeptical of his work. Don't let that scare you away---this track should give you an idea of what an innovative and electrifying musician he truly was. More info about Harris' legacy can be found here and here.
"Street Of Tears"---Black Heat
Black Heat was a '70s funk group who briefly recorded for Atlantic Records. They only had one song that cracked the R&B Top 50 ("No Time To Burn"), so their music has become somewhat of an obscurity over the years. Sampling artists have sought out their infectious rhythms and grooves fairly often, however, especially their track "Zimba Ku", which has been utilized on joints by Eric B & Rakim, NWA, Kool G Rap, Souls Of Mischief, Pete Rock, People Under The Stairs, and more. "Street Of Tears" is more of a soulful ballad than a funk jam---you may recognize that 9th Wonder flipped it on "3:16" by Murs. Interested peoples may want to start with a "best of" compilation of the group's recordings called Declassified Grooves.
Word From Your Moms:
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."---Mahatma Gandhi