I tried something new last week! The format of "Who Sampled It Better?" was simple - every edition posted features four famous hip-hop breaks along with two songs that sampled it prominently. You could play the clips here then pick the song you think looped it best on Twitter. I promised that after a week passed I'd do a follow-up revealing the results and adding my own thoughts on the choices...
... and one week later that time has come!
1.) Roy Ayers Ubiquity - "Everybody Loves the Sunshine"
Your choices: Brand Nubian's "Wake Up (Reprise in the Sunshine" and Erule's "Listen Up."
And the winner with 56% of the vote is...
* Brand Nubian - "Wake Up (Reprise in the Sunshine)"
EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm actually shocked it was this close. I thought Brand Nubian was the "hip-hop classic" and that Erule's track was very good but also relatively obscure compared to the fame of the Nubians. Just a few votes could have swung this either way - it might be closer than the 2016 Presidential elections in a few months!
2.) Isaac Hayes - "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic"
Your choices: Dr. Dre's "Puppet Master" or Public Enemy's "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos."
And the winner with 100% of the vote is...
* Public Enemy - "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos"
EDITOR'S NOTE: This one is a clear cut win for the Bomb Squad and Public Enemy. Now I'll put P.E. in the same "hip-hop classic" category as Brand Nubian above, but while some voters were willing to take a risk and consider Erule as a worthy contender, nobody stepped out and gave Dr. Dre a chance. It may be argued that "Puppet Master" isn't a BETTER use of the sample, but it's still a damn good song! Sometimes when you go up against a legend though you GET DUNKED ON.
3.) The Isley Brothers - "Between the Sheets"
Your choices: Da Brat's "Funkdafied" and Keith Murray's "The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World."
And the winner with 67% of the vote is...
* Da Brat - "Funkdafied"
EDITOR'S NOTE: It's nice to see Shawntae Harris get some respect from the voters, although at least one voter on Twitter mentioned that "Jermaine Dupri did it better" and put it entirely on her producer. I'm not sure that's fair. I love both tracks but there's something about Da Brat's personality and delivery that deserves just as much credit for making this beat fire. Honestly if they went up against Mr. Wallace they might have been killed like Public Enemy did Dr. Dre so this was a "fair fight."
4.) Dazz - "Brick"
Your choices: Dana Dane's "Cinderfella Dana Dane" and Ice Cube's "No Vaseline."
And the winner with 86% of the vote is...
* Ice Cube - "No Vaseline"
EDITOR'S NOTE: In hindsight "Cinderfella Dana Dane" had no chance going up against what might be the most vicious diss track in hip-hop history. Is the loop by Sir Jinx and Cube really that much better than what Hurby Luv Bug did for Dane though? To the degree the vote was this much of a slam dunk? I submit that the voters ultimately gave Cube the nod because (ironically enough) of its FAME as opposed to simply being the better use of Dazz, but I respect the choice they made all the same.
You know that De La Soul drops a new album this week right? It was originally launched via Kickstarter back in March 2015 and in no time flat reached the $110,000 funding goal. I do mean NO TIME FLAT y'all - it took about 24 hours. There are a lot of passionate De La Soul fans out there.
I'm one of those fans. I've seen De La in concert several times and I don't ever think I could see them live enough. If I had the time and money I'd own every single they ever dropped on vinyl, original print run and not re-issue, but I don't think that's meant to be (I Am, I Be). What is meant to be though is this top ten list celebrating the long awaited album finally dropping in stores and for all of us thirsty Kickstarter backers who wanted more than just a sip. Honestly limiting it to ten doesn't even do De La justice but it forced me to make hard choices and I do love a good challenge. Here we go...
1.) De La Soul - "Me Myself and I"
2.) De La Soul - "Ego Trippin' (Part Two)"
3.) De La Soul - "Stakes Is High"
4.) De La Soul - "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)"
5.) De La Soul - "Oooh"
6.) De La Soul - "A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays"
It's time for another edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #389 is called Want Some More? Support These Artists! Today you'll hear new material from Two Lanez, Esohel, Red Pill and more! Follow us @RapReviews so you never miss a new podsafe free show - like The Drunk Train from Adam Bernard.
* Esohel - No Turning Back
* Red Pill - Gin & Tonic
* Cambatta - Blessing From GOD
* Chris Prhythm - Jet Plane
* Funky DL - The Rhapsody
* Buddah Baby - Rock Star Energy
* KB The General f/ Produca P, Tonn 3D - Right Now
* Two Lanez - Want Some More
A.G.: She fuses hip-hop/rap with punk rock influences, both in sound and image. It's resulted in her recently touring with Snoop Dog, to Passion Pit, right through to PVRIS & Dashboard Confessional. After already being tipped by Dazed & the NME, she’s a genuine prospect, capable of huge crossover success.
Wanja: Dope Lab Oration is a mellow introspective collection of Hip Hop songs with soul, jazz, and boom bap influences. A collaboration with beats entirely handled by Santa Barbara, CA-based producer Sinuous, the 6-song collection features an ode to the original 4 elements of Hip Hop (“The Elements”), commentary on America’s social ills (“The Method” and “Signs”), displays of pure lyrical word play over gritty, soul-sampled instrumentation (“Say So”, “Wassup”, and “Ain’t Easy”), and points of internal, personal perspective all throughout.
How to Find the Opportunity in Adversity: A Lecture by Blueprint
Blueprint: In 2015, I had the honor of being asked to put together a talk for the fourth annual Creative Control Festival in Columbus, OH. The Creative Control festival is an all-day event that holds workshops and lectures on relevant topics for people who work in creative fields. Since I had never done a public talk or lecture before, I was initially nervous about doing it, but I accepted because the opportunity was too great to pass up. This lecture was captured on video and I would like to share it with you.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about the talk, but I will say that I’m excited about being able to finally share this with the public. Please check it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments.
E: Combine an endless imagination with down-to-earth sensibilities and you've got Mr Ekow. Taking inspiration from God, people watching and everything in-between, he weaves together the everyday and the fantastical in gripping and effortless rhymes. Hailing from South London, he began rapping in 2008 and has gone on to feature on BBC Introducing as well as performing a variety of live shows around the UK.
Spitty: Brampton rapper Spitty teased his audience by including a bonus song on the official cover art for Flight YYZ, but did not actually include it on the mixtape. Just under a month after the successful release of his first full length project, and also on the same day as his birthday, Spitty released the song: Freestyle 14 / Solitude, produced by J Dilla.
Video: Dapa Don f/ Heartbreak Mellz - "Nothing On You"
DD: Dapa Don returns today to bring the visual for the single "Nothing On You" feat. Heartbreak Mellz from the latest studio release #FOOD2. Dapa enlists long time collaborator Karl Lunz to assist in bringing the summer in NY feel to life for this banger from The Brooklyn Bred Muzik's artist last studio release.
A.T.: Texas rap kingpin Slim Thug pontificates from his throne in the video for "King," the somber mission statement for Slim Thug's Hogg Life 4: American King. On "King," Thug reflects on his past life as a hustler struggling to survive on the streets, understanding that he made it out of that life due to hard work, dedication and street smarts, and imparting his learned wisdom on young hustlers.