Grab & Rub – ‘Player’s Anthem’ Beat Deconstruction
October 9, 2008, 7:06 pm
Filed under: Beat Deconstructions, Breaks

Junior M.A.F.I.A. – ‘Player’s Anthem’
taken from Conspiracy (Big Beat, 1995)

New Birth – ‘You Are What I’m All About’
taken from Birth Day (RCA, 1972)

Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew – ‘La Di Da Di’ ft. MC Ricky D
taken from The Show VLS (Reality, 1985)

1995. Ah, those heady days: The Infamous, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Liquid Swords, Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & DangerousConspiracy? Not so much. However, I’ll happily admit to having a bit of a soft spot for Biggie’s chums-from-around-the-way’s debut album given that it was one of a small selection of relatively random cassette tapes that I treasured during the infantile stages of my love affair with hip hop music. The unwavering power of nostalgia strikes again.

Upon more mature reflection Conspiracy is by no means a bad album, with several great tracks nestled in amongst a host of unimaginative skits and overt attempts at crossover appeal, but there’s little doubt for me that ‘Player’s Anthem’ holds its head above the rest of LP’s offerings by a country mile. I mean, if after thirteen years I still can’t resist grabbing my delicates and imagining softly fondled mammary glands during the listening experience then something must be right here, mustn’t it? Don’t misconstrue me though. It’s a great song and I’m not that shallow. Much.

All joking aside, the beat here is beautifully executed and a testament to Clark Kent’s ear for a great sample. With Kent now assuming a dominant media persona as shoe connoisseur and fashion tastemaker, it’s often easy to forget that during his time he’s produced some truly great records and although he may not be the most imaginative of producers in terms of flips and chops the man can put together a great beat. ‘Player’s Anthem’ is a case in point, with a simple loop and drums formula combining to create an end product that is infectiously bangin’ and beautifully simple. The loops in question are lifted from New Birth’s ‘You Are What I’m All About’ from their 1972 release Birth Day and can be found at the very opening of the song. My suspicion is that the percussion and vocal sighs that run throughout the Junior M.A.F.I.A. track come from the opening two bars, whilst the warm bass line that complements them is the result of a low pass filter over the first four bars of bass groove thus eliminating the superfluous vocal ‘moans’ that would otherwise complicate the track’s stripped down aesthetic. Yes, I really am that geeky. Throw in the subtle layer of melody provided by a few other samples to the mix and you’re onto a winner.

Although I usually avoid commenting on the scratched samples found in chorus hooks (you’ve got to call an end to completism at some point when you’re blogging purely for the love), I can’t resist the temptation to throw up ‘La Di Da Di’ for the hell of it. Without traversing ridiculously tired ground, there’s such a charm to the simplicity of this song that I will never grow tired of… indulge yourself people. Can you believe this thing is 23 years old?!

Ultimately, I guess that ‘Player’s Anthem’ ends up being a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. It’s certainly not the sort of thing I’d play to someone who I was trying to convert to the genre due to its played out gangster posturing and misogyny, although Biggie’s verse still sounds great, but it endures for me as a highly enjoyable cut from the era that still sounds fresh (sorry Robbie). Ill, grown folk music it ain’t. And it’s all the better for it.

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Boom – ‘Straight Jacket’ Beat Deconstruction
September 23, 2008, 6:43 pm
Filed under: Beat Deconstructions, Producers

Beatnuts – ‘Straight Jacket’
taken from Street Level (Relativity/Violator, 1994)

The Sons – ‘Boomp Boomp Chop’
taken from Sons (Capitol, 1969

Harry Nilsson – ‘Rainmaker’
taken from Harry (RCA, 1969)

Wu-Tang Clan – ‘Da Mystery Of Chessboxin”
taken from Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers (Loud/RCA, 1993)

Having been heavily back into the first Beatnut’s full-length over the last fortnight or so, I realised that I’ve actually rarely touched upon their work here at FDB. This strikes me as somewhat bizarre because despite only coming around to their material after devouring the more obvious production big-hitters, they still hold a special place in my heart as one of my favourite crews to ever do it behind the boards. OK, so they’ve ended up falling off post-2000 (who hasn’t?), but I still generally find their more recent music to be more enjoyable and imaginative than other outfits who have managed to maintain that same balance between underground respectability and mainstream success (see Dilated Peoples), and that’s saying something given that the inaugural Intoxicated Demons EP dropped in 1993. It’s probably no surprise to you that Street Level has endured as my favorite album from their back catalogue, and so it is that ‘Straight Jacket’ finds itself under the figurative digital microscope today.

What I’ve learned to appreciate about the Nuts since getting into the sample side of things is that those boys dug deep in the quest for funky musical fodder (perhaps that should be ‘dig’: there’s supposedly an album coming next year). Although looking over some of their sample credits reveals a lot of familiar names and breaks, there are also a few bits and pieces nestled in there that demonstrate an individual, artistic approach to the art of digging that is made even more impressive by a handful of songs that will be immortalised as their own unique find (here’s a decent example). Of course this is a quality shared by pretty much all of the production greats, but there’s something enjoyably kooky about some of the Beatnuts’ samples choices that I find endearing as it seems to communicate a passion for unearthing something truly original before transforming it into a very different beast (see corresponding example).

Although in terms of aesthetic The Sons’ ‘Boomp Boomp Chop’ may not seem that obscure a choice – it does after all conform to the standard smooth jazz formula that so many producers turned to during the era – the record itself has proven incredibly difficult to research. It’s not helped by the fact that the album is self-titled and that the name of the group is particularly generic, but I can’t help but feel that this is also an indication of this record’s scarcity and therefore highlights the Beatnut’s originality in its discovery. And the reason for the difficulty turns out to be down to a swift name change by psychedelic west-coast rock outfit Sons of Champlin for their second LP (shouts to reader eons for the info).  The sample is easy to spot as it serves as the opening four bars of the main groove in the source material, a beautifully atmospheric mix of electric piano and guitar licks, and despite being pitched-down a little this is just a straight loop. I feel like I’ve said it hundred times before by now, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Any information on The Sons or the record from which this is lifted would be much appreciated.

For drums the selection is similarly astute. Although Harry Nilsson isn’t exactly a small player in the history of music, he doesn’t come to mind immediately when you think of hard-hitting snares, and yet it is from his song ‘Rainmaker’ that the Beatnuts source the percussion that propels ‘Straight Jacket’ forwards with such ferocity. As with The Sons’ groove this also appears to be looped, although extra snares add the necessary detailing and the step up in pace makes this a break to be reckoned with: in some ways I’m surprised that it hasn’t been used a little more widely. The album from which it is taken entitled Harry comes from the earlier stages of his career, released on RCA in 1969, and although I’d like to make some comment about how this work fits into the Nilsson catalogue in all honesty I haven’t got a clue. Yet another musical avenue to explore at some stage…

The ODB vocal sample as hook works wonderfully well, but there are so many other small nuances to comment on here that certify this is a masterfully executed chunk of mid-’90s hip hop music. The running water that disappears after the first eight bars makes the drop into drums all the more glorious, and the use of an unidentifiable high-pitched chirp that intermittently appears throughout the song adds another layer of interest which despite being relatively subtle adds real character to the beat. Then you got the switch in the main groove into the bass heavy riff and some tastefully placed sax to take into account and what you’re left with a beat that is at once perfectly simple whilst masking an underlying complexity.

I’m on a serious Beatnuts tip at the moment so I wouldn’t be surprised if they crop up again in the near future. They have got the funk, after all.

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Rhymes Creep – ‘2 Deep’ Beat Decopnstruction
September 9, 2008, 4:57 pm
Filed under: Beat Deconstructions, Producers

Gangstarr – ‘2 Deep’
taken from Daily Operation (Chrsalis/EMI, 1992)

Eddie Harris – ‘Lovely Is Today’
taken from Plug Me In (Atlantic, 1968)

James Brown – ‘Funky Drummer’
taken from In The Jungle Groove (Polydor, 1986)

So perhaps a ‘renaissance’ was forcing the issue a little… I’m still in the throws of Flood’s recently coined late summer lethargy. Expecting the worst, I even checked my visitor numbers today only to discover that they’re higher than ever: what am I meant to take from that? Sometimes the internets make no sense to me.

Anyway, I’m gradually falling back into the habitual and my listening habits have been recently boosted by a rediscovery of the early Gangstarr albums which are of course pretty much flawless slices of boom bap goodness. I’ve actually got Semantik to thank for this rather pleasant spell, as his recently posted video of Pharrell and Premo reminded me of how incredibly dope ‘2 Deep’ is (Pharrell’s pretty enthusiastic about it as well). It didn’t take long before I had my digital dig on, and although the track in question is by no means a demonstration of Premier at his most skillful, the quality of the Gangstarr joint and the source material make it more than worthy of coverage. But then if you can’t turn to Mr Martin whilst drowning in the murky depths of bloggers’ block, then who can you?

What surprised me upon hearing the sample source in this instance was that in terms of production ingenuity, Preem barely needed to lift a finger here. Looping up the bar that kicks off the main groove of Eddie Harris’ ‘Lovely Is Today’ is probably the most straightforward piece of production that I’m yet to hear from the Premier catalogue, and I’m struggling to think of another cut honed by the master that relies so heavily on just one key source. Drums, bass and horns are all in here, and although there is some variation during the chorus sections with a different loop and a ‘Funky Drummer’ scratch this is basic to say the very least. However, let’s not forget that Daily Operation dropped sixteen years ago (!) in a time when it was exactly this sort of simplicity that produced the greatest music that the genre will ever see, and what ‘2 Deep’ really reinforces is the genius of Premier’s ear for a lost bar here or there that perfectly translated into the hip hop aesthetic of the day.

Harris’ ‘Lovely Is Today’ is a fantastic song in its own right and has successfully opened up yet another door down a musical corridor that I need to explore. The only other time I’d come across the Eddie Harris name was when I stumbled upon ‘Carry On Brother’ whilst on some obscure and forgotten tangent in my digital travels, so essentially his body of work is completely new to me. A multi-instrumentalist from Chicago, Harris leaves behind him a legacy that is both auditory and innovative within the realms of instrument-based evolution having invented the reed mouthpiece for the trumpet, coronet, trombone and flugelhorn and experimented with hybrid instruments such as the saxobone which combined a trombone mouthpiece with a sax (weird, but true). I got a long way to go before I get my head around this man’s various achievements, but needless to say the prospect of doing so fills me with a warm glow in my belly: suggestions for exploration gratefully received.

Stay with me people. If you’re lucky I may even post again before we hit the weekend: the renaissance continues to simmer…


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Some Things Change – ‘Decepticons’ Beat Deconstruction
September 1, 2008, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Beat Deconstructions, Breaks, Producers

One Be Lo – ‘Decepticons’ (Pete Rock Remix) & ‘Decepticons’ (Pete Rock Remix Instrumental)
taken from Decepticons VLS (Fat Beats, 2005)

Isaac Hayes – ‘One Big Unhappy Family’
taken from The Isaac Hayes Movement (Stax, 1970)

Lafayette Afro Rock Band – ‘Darkest Light’
taken from Malik (Makossa, 1976)

Although the vast majority of my sample ‘knowledge’ comes from you know where, I’m glad that my explorations into the soul and funk that laid the foundations for hip hop music have gone far enough at this point to mean that from time to time I stumble across something all by myself. Granted, Isaac Hayes isn’t exactly the most obscure of sources, but I was pleased to discover ‘One Big Unhappy Family’ on my current (rather obsessive) journey through the entire Isaac Hayes’ back catalogue as it forms the backbone of one of my favourite Pete Rock remixes of the last decade ever. Given that a discussion of the ‘Decepticons’ remix also ties into certain ‘issues’ I’m having with the Chocolate Boy Wonder’s production style of the moment, it seems apt to jump on the happy coincidence of the Hayes’ sample discovery and serve up a little beat deconstruction, FDB style. The renaissance is in motion people.

Let’s start with the sample. ‘One Big Unhappy Family’ can be found on Hayes’ third solo studio outing The Isaac Hayes Movement which goes down as essential material from the late master arranger and composer. Although I’ve still got a way to go until I make my way through all of Hayes’ work, it really is the late ’60s/early ’70s output in the lead up to Black Moses that captures me most emphatically. The trio of albums that precede this seminal double LP are nothing short of sensational, and if you’re yet to indulge in a posthumous Hayes craze then I’d strongly suggest that Hot Buttered SoulThe Isaac Hayes Movement and To Be Continued act as jumping off points into the veritable ocean of material that he leaves in his wake. For me, this is probably the weakest of the aforementioned LPs although Hayes’ exceptional cover of ‘I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself’ is worth the price of admission alone. ‘One Big Unhappy Family’ is pretty glorious in its own right, an achingly sentimental number that has me crunching up my face and gyrating on my desk chair like I’m slow dancing with Beyonce in some soul-drenched Harlem basement (damn, that’s an image and a half), but it’s the bar and a half at the 0.24 mark that manages to break the trance and turn my facial scrunch into a broad – if rather brief – smile. Pete doesn’t do a huge amount with the break despite layering the snare hits and adding kicks and bass, chopping it into several neat sections that get flipped in various ways throughout the One Be Lo cut. It’s a great beat that feels beautifully spacious and demonstrates the restrained, soulful PR sound that I feel is sadly lacking at the moment… more of that later.

On top of the Hayes’ sample you get a nicely executed panned flip of Lafayette Afro Rock Band’s classic ‘Darkest Light’ horn intro to add a little interest during the chorus sections and they sit rather nicely here adding to the ‘gazing over the cityscape at sunset’ vibe that the track captures so well. However, there’s no denying that using it could be perceived as a little lazy and it’s a trend that’s developing in Pete’s current output that concerns me a little. Although ‘914′ was a standout for me from NY’s Finest, using ‘UFO’ and ‘It’s A New Day’ is hardly rocket science, and his recent ‘Nautilus’ sampling outing with The L.O.X. must have been something he put together in about five minutes. In his sleep. Now I don’t want to go too far with this as these are admittedly relatively isolated cases, but it all contributes to my feeling that Rock is struggling to find his fire of late. The Kurupt and Vast Aire collaborations earlier in the year clearly lacked something and when you take this travestyinto account it becomes pretty clear that it’s not a particularly good time to be a Soul Brother fanatic. Just gocheck out some of the chat at the PR forum if you need further proof. Disgruntled doesn’t even begin to cover it.

However, let’s not let my geeky panic at the state of Pete Rock detract from his work on the One Be Lo cut featured here. I’ve thrown up the instrumental as well because it’s the version that gets most plays from me, with the vocals sounding a little harsh in the mix on the vocal cut (poor mastering or crappy mp3? I’ll let you decide). Pump this one loud on the train and you’ll be bopping your head maniacally with little care for the welfare of others around you: this is what real Pete Rock is supposed to sound like.

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Coming Through – ‘The Force’ Beat Deconstruction
July 29, 2008, 4:09 pm
Filed under: Beat Deconstructions

Aim – ‘The Force’ ft. QNC
taken from Cold Water Music (Grand Central, 1999)

Various Artists – ‘Easy To Be Hard’
taken from Hair OST (Polydor, 1969)

Audio bonus!

Galt MacDermot – ‘Easy To Be Hard’
taken from Hair Cuts (?, 1969)

So I’m blasting back onto the scene by leaning back on one of my favourite stimulus subjects: the British weather. The weekend just gone by was nothing short of beautiful, with blue skies and blazing sunshine making for some of the finest couple of days of the year so far. Throw this into the mixing pot with the dawn of my five and a half weeks of summer holiday and you’ve got a situation approaching fiesta status. Eff the torrential rain since then, ‘The Force’ is one of my go-to summer classics and well overdue for the deconstruction treatment.

I’m not sure how far Andrew Turner, more commonly known as Aim, has managed to extend his influence beyond British shores but he is without doubt one of the most high profile hip hop artists within a certain demographic here in Blighty. Teetering dangerously on the edge of what could be considered coffee table music, what’s surprising about Aim as an artist is that he has always managed to maintain a sense of credibility despite his particular aesthetic possessing clear mass appeal: yea, that trendy looking student likes to rock it at his afternoon shift behind the bar on a Saturday, but there’s enough substance to his discography to stop such incidents tainting the music for the more discerning listener (read: music snobs like me). All three of his studioalbums are worth copping and his mix for the Fabric Live series was jaw-droppingly good: quite a musical career for a man hailing from Cumbria.

‘The Force’ is one of the most unabashed bangers in his discography and sees him team up with ex-JVC Force member Curt Cazal and long-term affiliate Q-Ball (who I don’t think ever played a part in the crew) who drop satisfyingly accomplished rhymes over a beat that has depth and momentum. The main groove is lifted from ‘Easy To Be Hard’ which can be found on Galt MacDermot’s widely-used soundtrack to the late ’60s musicalHair, a track and theatre production that I’ve mentioned before when discussing the Three Dog Night cover that formed the backbone of Nice & Smooth’s ‘Old To The New’. It’s a straight up loop of the first two bars with low pass filter applied that acts as the foundation of ‘The Force’, steadily built upon with multiple other layers that escape my realm of knowledge. This is frustrating as there’s plenty more at play here, with squealing horns, vocal sample and bouncy piano loop all featuring throughout the composition.

As such, this ‘deconstruction’ is a little redundant because it clearly doesn’t do justice to the musicianship on display. However, as a means to easing myself back into the blog game and presenting a track that may have passed you Yanks by, it suffices perfectly. To ease the guilt of my shallow analysis I’ve also thrown in an alternative version of the source material that I picked up on my digital travels at some point from MacDermot’sHair Cuts, an equally enjoyable version of the song that is well worth the space on your hard drive. Let’s hope the clouds disperse again soon: ‘The Force’ is far too glorious to bump when it’s raining.


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Jump Up! ‘Enta Da Stage’ Beat Deconstruction
July 4, 2008, 4:12 pm
Filed under: Beat Deconstructions

Black Moon – ‘Enta Da Stage’
taken from Enta Da Stage (Nervous, 1993)

Onyx – ‘Shifftee’
taken from Bacdafucup (JMJ, 1992)

Cannonball Adderley – ‘Eye Of The Cosmos’
taken from Black Messiah (Capitol, 1971)

James Brown – ‘It’s A New Day (Live)’
taken from Revolution Of The Mind (Polydor, 1971)

Lonnie Smith – ‘Spinning Wheel’
taken from Drives (Blue Note, 1970)

Alice Coltrane – ‘Journey In Satchidananda’
taken from Journey In Satchidananda (Impulse, 1970)

Shouts to my man Beeboy from the Pete Rock Forum for sourcing this last one.

When I’ve discussed Da Beatminerz’ production in the past, I’ve tended to focus on their employment of loops, a feature of their aesthetic that applies to both drums and grooves during their most treasured period of productivity in the mid ’90s. In some ways I’m concerned that this almost comes across as derogatory because what I’ve perhaps failed to emphasise in these instances is that their work is so much more than a simple cut and paste job: their dense and brooding soundscapes are highly sophisticated demonstrations of the power of a measured, multi-layered and subtle approach to the art of beatmaking. Enta Da Stage must go down as their magnum opus, and today’s deconstruction shines some light on the album cut that shares the LP’s name and emphatically demonstrates this particular facet of their craft.

Even the opening section of the cut is laced with material from no less than three separate sources, and that’s before we even get onto the drums and main groove. The rather aggressive cries of “Buckshot!” bolstered by the rumble of a rowdy entourage come care of Sticky Fingaz and crew on the skit that follows Onyx’s excellent ‘Shiftee’ from their debut LP Bacdafucup, although I think I might be right in guessing that in its original form it was intended as a relatively frightening call to arms as opposed to a nod to Black Moon’s lead emcee (what exactly did 5ft ever do?). Next up is the voice of jazz legend Cannonball Adderley who explains that what’s about to happen “has nothing to do with an arranged piece of music or a set-up as far as our attitude is concerned,” which achieves its purpose of sounding ridiculously cool despite not necessarily making a great deal of a sense… but then when was cool ever particularly coherent? Finally, the panned shouts of “soul” come from the introduction to James Brown’s live rendition of ‘It’s A New Day’, throwing another layer of interest into the mix before Buckshot’s triumphant command to “jump up!” kicks off the lyrical wizardry: woe betide the man that resists the temptation to follow suit immediately.

What these elements ultimately provide the track is a gradually shifting texture in the intro section but it is of course the bass and drums that give the track its ferocious momentum. Percussion is lifted from the ubiquitous Lonnie Smith ‘Spinning Wheel’ break that also crops up on ‘Black Smif-N-Wessun’, its clean and hard-hitting construction at the 4.42 mark making it perfect for transposition into a rugged hip hop jam. Low pass filters have of course always been a speciality of the Dewgarde brothers, and their use of Alice Coltrane’s ‘Journey In Satchidananda’ is a prime example of their love for all things low-end. It’s the first couple of cars here that are of note, sped up and then fed through a filter to develop the rumbling bass line that establishes the ear-warbling thrust of ‘Enta Da Stage’.

What’s incredible is that even with this relatively detailed exploration of the various components that go into the making of the track, there’s still several stones left unturned. The prominence of the bass is balanced perfectly by the higher pitch of the other key sample that crops up halfway through the first bar of every two bar sequence, but trying to identify what instrument it is proves hard enough, let alone the source from which it came. There’s also a single, siren-like note that runs intermittently throughout the song that first crops up during the Adderley vocal snippet, adding yet another layer to what is a deceptively complex piece of production work. Ultimately, it’s the way in which these various elements sink into each other that demonstrates the artistic genius behind the track.

Whilst you finish up taking your notes, the final thing I’d like to say about ‘Enta Da Stage’ is that it seems to me a gross oversight to not have made this the first song on the album, the crew instead burying it halfway through the second half of the LP. Whilst ‘Powaful Impak!’ can hardly constitute a poor introduction to the album as a whole, the semantic suitability of this song and its bangin’ vibe seem to scream album opener. Still, this is a minor quibble for an album that is otherwise faultless, and certainly doesn’t detract from the quality of ‘Enta Da Stage’ itself. Need reminding why the brothers from Brooklyn are considered amongst the best that ever did it? Indulge yourself in a nugget of Beatminerz’ gold: ‘Enta Da Stage’ is as good as they come.


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Independent Woman? ‘Downlo Ho’ Beat Deconstruction
June 23, 2008, 4:14 pm
Filed under: Beat Deconstructions, Breaks, Producers

Scientifik – ‘Downlo Ho’
taken from Criminal (Definite, 1994)

John Klemmer – ‘Touch’
taken from Touch (ABC, 1975)

After getting into a little John Klemmer a little while back care of the magnificent ‘Free Soul’, I’ve been keen to explore the man’s discography in more depth. Unfortunately this exploration led me first to his Touch LP from 1975, a release that I didn’t really connect with and which quashed my initial enthusiasm, meaning my acquaintance with his wider body of work has been fleeting to say the least. However, the purchase was salvaged for me by a combination of the title track itself and my insatiable sample-spotting geekery, an unfortunate affliction that has inevitably led to some duff buys on my part in recent times. But then that’s all part of the fun: I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jacked by Buckwild for one of the less celebrated cuts from Scientifik’s fantastic Criminal, ‘Downlo Ho’ rarely seems to receive a mention when discussion of the album comes up, but for me it’s one of the clear standouts. Whereas the beats elsewhere on the LP tend to be a little darker in tone, ‘Downlo Ho’ manages that perfect equilibrium between the raw and the smooth, an infectious combination that never fails to instigate a healthy bounce of the cranium. The sample itself is a straight loop of the first couple of bars of the song slowed down, thereby falling in line with the majority of Buckwild’s production aesthetic during the period where big drums and loops prevail. When it’s this dope in the first place, the man knows as well as anybody else when to leave it alone and let the groove shine.

There’s plenty of other touches to the beat with various vocal stabs, sax loops and other somewhat unidentifiable noises thrown into the mix to give it a little extra flava, but it’s the bang of the drums that ultimately set the groove off so well. The snare hits are particularly prominent in the mix, with a healthy dose of reverb allowing them to breathe for nearly a quarter of a bar before fading, and to avoid the mix getting too messy Buckwild keeps the kick drum pattern pleasingly restrained and straightforward. It’s these simple yet incredibly effective moments of flair that certify the man’s place in the boom bap hall of fame (if only such a place existed).

Ultimately, Klemmer’s original is well worth a listen as well, but it is in all honesty one of those songs that I would probably very rarely choose to listen to if it wasn’t for the hip hop connection. With so much other music to explore I don’t imagine I’ll be delving too far into his discography any time soon, but if you know of something that I need to hear then please let me know. In the meantime it can be Buckwild who serves up my Klemmer fix: lazy I know, but sometimes a bout of self-indulgence and a heavy lean on your musical crutches is no bad thing, a sentiment that must pretty much define the online hip hop community whose members in general still can’t let go of the ’90s. But then with beats as good as this, why would you want to?

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