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Gumsole Beatdowns x Snoop Dogg’s “I Wanna Rock” x “Space Dust”

Hov, Clue, Snoop

Like I said on Twitter, Snoop Dogg’s “I Wanna Rock” sounds better with every listen. Many quickly say, “That beat samples Rob Base’s ‘It Takes Two,'” but that’s technically wrong.

“I Wanna Rock” actually samples a song called “Space Dust” by the Galactic Force Band (GFB). The song originally appeared on GFB’s Spaced Out Disco (1978) album which featured disco covers of sci-fi movie theme songs including Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. DJs worth their Technics will recognize that the song appeared on Ultimate Breaks & Beats Vol. 16. It was the third track on side B, immediately after Lynn Collin’s “Think (About It)”—which was produced by James Brown and is the prominent sample on Rob Base & DJ EZ-Rock’s “It Takes Two.”

Also worth noting, at least for Roots fans, is that Dice Raw sampled “Space Dust” for his “A Thin Line (Between Raw & Jiggy)”; the lead single, from his debut album, Reclaiming the Dead, that you probably never heard.

Back to the point of this post; “I Wanna Rock’s” producer, Scoop DeVille, did his thing—adding chunky drums—while Snoop sounds like he hasn’t lost a step on the mic. With all the remixes—most recently the the Kings G-Mix featuring Jay-Z—and despite initially being released in November 2009, the song isn’t losing steam anytime soon.

January 13, 2010 Posted by | Freshness, Gumsole Beatdowns, Hip-Hop, Music, News | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Gumsole Beatdowns X Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson 8/29/58 - 6/25/09

Michael Jackson 8/29/58 - 6/25/09

The King of Pop is dead. Long live the King of Pop.  It was surreal waiting for CNN to confirm what was inevitably certain; Michael Jackson has passed on.

I still clearly remember being a little kid, sitting in a ratty arm chair, reading the lyrics in the gatefold vinyl of my older sis’ copy of Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall.

“Keep on with the force don’t stop/Dont stop ‘til you get enough.”

That’s what he said. Don’t even remember what my totally wrong, kid trying to keep along take on that lyric was.

I was already rocking Hip-Hop colored shades, figuratively, at that point. But, MJ still stayed in my life playlist. More so when the swiped samples Hip-Hop producers were flipping were opening my nose to MJ’s phenomenal discography.

CNN keeps harping on Thriller. Rightly so, 50 millions records sold is frikkin’ preposterous. But, Mike was already pretty damn good without Q [see: Ben] and there’s way more Jackson 5 than those greatest hits.

Picking up a dusty piece Mic Jack wax while digging was standard behavior for the kid. I’m reminded of it every time I look at the chunky Michael Jackson section of my record collection.

So on this sad day let me post some Michael Jackson tunes along with the corresponding Hip-Hop songs that incorporated them. Some blatant, others not so obvious. Better than the original? Hardly.

Q-Tip “Move” – Being signed to Universal Motown is probably the only way Tip cleared this sample.

Jackson 5 “Dancing Machine”


Nas “It Aint Hard to Tell” – Thank the Extra P for this groove.

Michael Jackson “Human Nature”


De La Soul “Breakadawn” – With the Daisy Age far in the rear view, De La dropped this MJ assisted gem.

Michael Jackson “I Can’t Help It”


Kanye West “Good Life” – Yeezy loves swiping him some Michael, see below.

Michael Jackson “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”

Jay-Z “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” – Michael was surely thanking Mr. West for that publishing check, we hope.

Jackson 5 “I Want You Back”

Naughty by Nature “O.P.P.” – Blatant sample but Kay Gee got there first (probably).

Jackson 5 “ABC”


Puff Daddy f/ The Lox, Lil Kim & The Notorious B.I.G. “All About the Benjamins” – Definitely an ultimate break and beat.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Jackson 5 “It’s Great to Be Here”



Gumsole Beatdowns #2: Kool & The Gang X Spinna & Premier

Hip-Hop Loved to Jack Jackson [via Urban Daily]

The Jackson 5 & Michael Jackson: An Audio Evolution [via Grouchy/AllHipHop]

June 25, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Gumsole Beatdowns, Hip-Hop, Music, News | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gumsole Beatdowns #2: Kool & The Gang X Spinna & Premier

DJ Spinna has got beats. Fresh beats*. It’s a shame this production wunderkind of Jigmastas (and Stevie Wonder tribute parties) infamy doesn’t get his proper due. The above clip of him in the studio with Ski (of Camp Lo and early Roc-a-Fella infamy, not a bad producer himself) and the homie Sucio Smash chopping up Kool & The Gang’s “Summer Madness” inspired me to write another Gumsoles. [Props to High Water Music]


Most people nowadays will know Kool & the Gang for their Pop/Crossover hits like “Celebrate” and “Ladies Night” That’s all well and good but if you’re a little savvier with your music history you will note that Kool & the Gang started with traditional Jazz leanings before delving knee deep into R&B and Funk before getting their Disco on.

Being that the group’s main players—brothers Robert “Kool” Bell (bass) and Ronald Bell (tenor sax) as well as George Brown (drums), Robert Mickens (trumpet), Dennis Thomas (alto sax), Charles Smith (guitar, RIP) and Rick Westfield (keys)—were all accomplished musicians, it’s no wonder their catalog has been picked clean by scavenging Hip-Hop producers.

The song in question here (directly below), “Summer Madness,” stems from their R&B/Funk days, though they retained their sophisticated Jazz sensibilities. The instrumental tracks sweeping synthesizer and haunting melody was first heard on Kool & The Gang’s Light of Worlds (De-Lite, 1974) album.

That said, I wanted to share some of my fav “Summer Madness” flips, for the uninitiated. No one tell Premo I dropped dime please, thanks.

Gang Starr “DJ Premier in Deep Concentration”

“Summer Madness” forms the musical landscape for Premier to cut, scratch and transform with finesse, and all that mess. Word to Biz Markie and Cool V.

Pete Rock f/ Jim Jones & Max B “We Roll”

Ahh, feel the wave; when Jones and Max were best of buddies and making surprisingly good music. Pete Rock chops up “Summer Madness’” synth to the point where they’re almost recognizable, Max drops a catchy hook and Jones fills in adequately on the rhymes.

Da Bush Babees f/ Mos Def “The Love Song”

You really can’t lose early Mos Def teaming with late 90’s, underground Hip-Hop torchbearers teaming up over a Posdnous (De La Soul-did I really have to add that detail?) produced track.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (pre-Bel Air) “Summertime”

Enough of a classic that younger heads will think it’s the original.


Gumsole Beatdowns #1: Notorious B.I.G. X Al Green

*I’ll get around to posting that Spinna story from the late, great Scratch Magazine, one day.

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Gumsole Beatdowns, Hip-Hop, Music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gumsole Beatdowns#1: Notorious B.I.G. X Al Green

I'm surprised you run with them...

I'm surprised you run with them...

stillinlovealgreenWhile the late Christopher Wallace’s flow was elastic enough to get busy over any groove, rocking over a flip of Al Green’s “I’m Glad You’re Mine” was so nice that B.I.G. did it twice on “I Got a Story to Tell” from Life After Death and “Dead Wrong” from the posthumous Born Again. The Al Green album, I’m Still in Love with You, that said sample originates from was released in 1972; yep, the same year Biggie was born. The heisted audio (you can listen to it below, but do yourself a favor and buy the entire album because it is vintage, baby-making music) isn’t too long—a sick rimshot that’s a couple of bars long, tops—but many a producer has gotten a good run from it. Here is Biggie’s double dose (not including “What’s Beef?”) as well as a few choice others handy for spreadin’ [Hip-Hop] love, the Brooklyn way. R.I.P. B.I.G.

Al Green “I’m Glad You’re Mine”

Notorious B.I.G. “I Got a Story to Tell”

An album cut that nevertheless gets heavy burn, “I Got A Story Tell” displays B.I.G.’s storytelling ability. Produced by DITC’s Buckwild with co-production credited to Chucky Thompson & Diddy [Note: find out what Buckwild thinks of that], the Rev Green’s drums are the tracks foundation as B.I.G. recounts a tale of infidelity turned to robbery.

Notorious B.I.G. “Dead Wrong” f/ Eminem

The lead single to B.I.G.’s Born Again album was produced by Chucky Thompson, Mario Winans & Diddy (guess they liked what Buckwild did with “I Got a Story to Tell”) and makes that illy rimshot a counterpoint to grizzly drums. The result is a greasy and booming tracks that makes B.I.G. dropping un-PC quotables like “japped her then I asked her who’s the man she said B.I.G., then I bust in here E.Y.E.,” almost acceptable. No Chris Brown.


MC Lyte “Paper Thin”

This beat was so sick that on the Lyte As a Rock album that it appeared on you got to hear the entire instrumental run through after your favorite female MCs last verse. (Shout out to Big Ced.)

Eric B & Rakim “Mahogany”

It’s the R, and Eric. B, coolin’ at the Palladium (Note: I remember in the late 90’s seeing Jay-Z, rocking a du-rag, kick “22 Twos” in that infamous NYC nightclub. Mic Geronimo may have been the headliner. Times change, it’s now an NYU dorm). “Mahogany” is a winner from the Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em album and jacks Al Green’s track wholesale.


Machine Gun Funk: Producers Remember B.I.G. [via Nod Factor]

A Dead B.I.G. is Better Than a Living Weezy! [via The Urban Daily]

Think Big [via]

The Day Biggie Died (Rest in Peace/Live in War) [via Naked With Socks On]

Today Marks The 12th Anniversary of B.I.G.’s Death [via Real Talk NY]

DJ Drama & Cookin Soul Present: The Notorious BIG Tribute (Mixtape) [via Nah Right]

Big Don’t Fold [via Cocaine Blunts]

Wig Out (Puff Daddy) [via Rap Radar]

“Life After Death” The Mixtape Movie [via Notes from a Different Kitchen]

We’ll Always Love Big Poppa [via Combat Jack]

March 9, 2009 Posted by | Gumsole Beatdowns, Hip-Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments