Holy. Shit. If you’re looking for a solid hour of music to get you through your commute, or literally anything else you might be doing, look no further. The entire mixtape is solid and once you hit the last six tracks it gets really real. AND a bonus with two Purity Ring tracks serving as book ends for this mix, absolutely no complaints. We last brought The Hood Internet to your attention when we were obsessed with Foster the People (still obsessed… but taking a healthy break to mix things up). Also, a double bonus, the mixtape has my favorite Hood Internet cover art to date created by Steff Bomb.
“I Confess” is a 1995 single released by Philadelphia rapper Bahamadia in support of her ‘96 album, Kollage. “I Confess” is as Q-Tip, would say, a fly love song, produced by Rap-A-Lot architect N.O. Joe. Joe provides a silky smooth backdrop with warm keys, tapping hi-hats wah-wah guitar and a bass line. The chorus is a sung interpolation of the first verse of “Let’s Get It On” that suites the vibe nicely:
I’ve been really tryin’, baby
Tryin’ to hold back this feelin’ for so long
And if you feel like I feel, baby
Then come on, oh, come on
“I Confess” got a second single release in ‘96 for a 12’ with remixes by the Roots and Erick Sermon. The Erick Sermon remix uses the same beat as Redman’s “Da Bump” (released the same year) and features a shorter chorus and adlibs by the Green Eyed Bandit. His beat has a thick bass line and eerie strings that works surprisingly well with Bahamadia’s buttery flow.
But the Roots’ remix is the real treat here, which pairs a live drums with a soothing bass line and woozy synths. Black Thought does very subtle backing vocals and doubles every line in a subtle but ear catching manner. This remix, more than even the original really captures the weak-kneed feeling of falling head over heels. Damn near perfect. Bahamadia even kicks 3 completely new verses and does the chorus herself:
I con-f-e-double es
Shorty show your interest/put me to a test
Yo my love/I con-f-e-double es
Don’t compare ya to the rest because to me you are the best
I can’t find an mp3 of the Erick Sermon remix (listen on YouTube) at the moment but readers, feel free to share in the comments.
Reviving a long-dormant ML feature, which I haven’t done for almost a year now. For those new to Remix Tuesdays: each RT post finds me discussing a song and a remix of said song, comparing the lyrics and production of the OG to the remix. Today’s subject is “Oh My God”, a single released off Tribe Called Quest’s 1993 album Midnight Marauders in ‘94.
“Guess Who’s Back” is a 1997 single by Rakim from his ’97 solo debut The 18th Letter. Clark Kent produces the beat, employing hard, stilted drums combined with a slowed-down keyboard loop from Bob James’ “Shamboozie”. Kent scratches Chuck D from “Bring The Noise” and Rakim for the intro to set the mood:
[Chuck D]: Back once again, it’s the incredible/[Rakim]: Rakim Allah
“Guess Who’s Back” also received a strange music video, featuring Rakim doing some poor acting in a orange robe.
DITC producer Buckwild remixed “Guess Who’s Back” for a 12′ of remixes of the track. Buck starts the remix with a slowed-down scratch of the same Chuck D sample from the OG, then lets the beat drop. Buck’s remix captures a more mellow, contemplative mood, using an subtle string loop and a three-bar piano. Buck switches the drums up, using a mix of crisp snares and shuffling hi-hats. remix. The beat switches up for the second verse. Buck pulls out the main loop, and lets the drums ride out with the occasional appearance from a creepy piano loop.
This is one of the few times where I’d give the original the edge over the remix. Buckwild’s beat sounds like it was intended for another song; it’s an undeniable head-nodder but it doesn’t fit the mood of the track. Clark Kent’s track sounds like a triumphant comeback, and suits Ra’s lyrics and flow better.
Remix Tuesdays is back after a 2 week hiatus and in honor of Raekwon announcing for the release date for Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 for the 6th time (April 7th, make your calendars!), I’m doing a Remix Tuesdays on a track off the original OB4CL.
“It’s A Boy” is a 1991 single by Slick Rick, released to promote his sophomore release, The Ruler’s Back. Rick spits about the birth of his son Ricky.
Vance Wright produced “It’s A Boy”. His instrumental consists of tinny horns, clipped synthesizers and a sloppy loop of the “Impeach The President” break- can you tell I’m not a big fan of Vance’s work on the beat? The chorus consists of an reverb-ed Rick saying “It’s a boy” followed by a baby crying.
Large Professor remixed “It’s A Boy” for the 12′ single release of the song. Large Pro brilliantly flips a Carl Tjader sample, combining chiming vibes and thick bass line. LP adds dusty boom-bap drums and his trademark sleigh bells. Some echoing horns complement the chorus nicely.
The track got the music video treatment featuring a bunch of rappers as adorable children. There’s a baby Rick, Flava Flav, LL Cool J, MC Hammer, even a tiny 3rd Bass! Wee MC Serch is awful precious. YouTube won’t let me embed the video but you can view it here.
I’ve covered Large Professor’s remix prowess before but this is the first Remix Tuesdays I’ve written where the remix tops the original in every single way. Vance Wright’s original beat is awful, cheap-sounding and utterly ill-suited to Rick’s lyrics.
“Get It Together” is a 1994 single by the Beastie Boys, released in support of their ’94 album, Ill Communication. It’s a collaboration with Q-Tip that avoids the pitfalls of modern collaborations. Rather than simply tacking on a verse to the end of the song, Q-Tip and the Beasties spend the song trading off verses and bizarre adlibs in a refreshingly loose fashion. Tip is clearly freestyling his lyrics and Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock go with the flow, shouting adlibs and playing off his verses.
“Father Time” is a 1995 single by Canadian rapper Saukrates, released as a 12′ shared with Choclair’s “21 Years.” It’s considered something of a underground classic, getting spin on the Stretch and Bobbito show back in the day and chosen for the first Fat Beats Compilation.
It’s been a minute, people. My apologies – midterms and essays got your boy busy.
“Thief’s Theme” is a 2004 single released by Nas in support of his double album, Street’s Disciple. Salaam Remi flips the guitar riff and a soaring organ line from the Incredible Bongo Band’s cover of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”(later used in almost identical fashion by Wil.i.am for “Hip Hop Is Dead”). Remi throws a short bongo break on the chorus, where scratches Nas’s lyrics from “The World Is Yours” for the chorus:
The thief’s theme, play me at night they won’t act right/Understandable smooth shit that murderers move with.
Keeping with the theme of the song, the video features people robbing stores in ski masks.
I owe my discovery of today’s featured remix entirely to Dan Love at FDB, who tipped me off to this track at the end of last year. “Thief’s Theme” was remixed by Canadian producer Midas Touch for his online mixtape The Remix Tape Volume 1, which you can download here. Obviously, this remix is internet only, but it’s a shame; Midas does a better job behind the boards here than Nas’ current stable of mostly crap producers.
Midas switches up the percussion to heavy snares and hi-hats. He adds pretty, echoing piano keys and brings in stirring strings and some really dope horns every few bars. Midas also chops us some classic Otis Redding groans and layers them on top. Midas’s take on “Thief’s Theme” is cinematic and sounds like a lost Premier beat circa Moment of Truth – never a bad thing.
Which version is better? I’m leaning toward Midas on this one. Remi’s beat is hurt by the fact that Nas used the same sample for “Hip Hop Is Dead” but two years later. Still a good beat, just feels a bit redundant, I suppose. What do you guys think?
Note from AM: I’m pretty busy with midterms right now, so I’m bringing back Jorge from Bang The Box for a guest post in the Remix Tuesdays series. Read his last post here.
Huge respect to AM for inviting me back to guest on the Mighty Metal Lungies, but enough pleasantries, let’s get back to business.
From the first lick of Odetta’s “Sakura,” you should know exactly what this is, it’s a classic without need for argument. Spencer Bellamy’s seminal “Tried By 12″ was snapping necks left and right in ’96 with its entrancing yet moody melody and Des’ ominously cold flow. I could break his verses apart line-by-line, but the citation and analysis of the clever wordplay contained within would extended for pages.
Originally touching down on Bellamy’s own 10/30 Uproar, the single was picked up by Chocolate Industries in ’98, and licensed to Ninja Tune in the same year. The beauty of Chocolate Industries backing this track was the onslaught of remixes that followed suit. Enlisting an A-List of abtract and forward-thinking producers for the double twelve, both labels capitalized on the beginning of the glitch-hop movement that is huge today — 10 years later. The release included flips from Ko-Wreck Technique (Push Button Objects & DJ Craze), Phonecia, The Herbaliser, Funkstorung, Autechre, Squarepusher, and Nick Fury to name a few.
Today you’re going to get served up with the video, the original and some of my favorite alternate mixes from that piece of deleted catalog. I’m all about spreading that rarity wealth and all of these hold special places in my history for one reason or another. They not only represent the classic sound, but what was the next business during that era.