This!!! Man, I tell ya….this beat has gone through so many phases. Let me see if I can simplify it a bit so I don’t bog you down with boring details:
- Originally made this beat when I first moved to LA in ’03 or ’04
- Everyone I played it for asked me to put it on hold for them
- Young MC heard it (yes, Bust a Move Young MC) and told me I should add a snare behind the clap….so I did
- Linked up with Neal Pogue in ’06 and we re-did the beat (again) and added a singer on the hook
- Submitted it to Paul Wall but he turned it down because he didn’t want to pay to clear the sample
And now I bring it to you in its original form, before any of the changes….the way I originally made and intended for the beat to be (minus a mix/master but you get the idea). I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do to this very day.
Frankie Lymon for making a sick ass sample-able song.
Myself and South London drummer, Timmy Rickard, have a collab project thats been in the works for a year. The delay is completely my fault, I will admit. But this summer you’re sure to see the Scrumpy beat tape come to light. It will be a bit different from the usual beat tapes you’ve been hearing from me in the way the samples are chopped, but the funketh still lyeth there..eth.
slumBOP is a taste of what to expect. I found this loop/sample on a CD while digging at the library (yes, the library). The cover was some crazy looking band and from what I understood from the title, it was a jazz band from Ethiopia…..bananas right?!!? I’ve been sitting with this loop for awhile so I sent it to Tim to work some live drum magic on it. Tim is like ?uestlove’s little British brother when it comes to the drums. As you can hear on this track, he knows how to make his kit sound dirty….the way I like my beats.
Here is a picture of Tim looking busy behind his drum kit.
I think it was some time after The New Edition Beat Tape where I got the itch to flip a current alternative record. I’d just finished reading reviews of people bashing MGMT’s sophomore effort, Congratulations, so I figure why not give it a listen to see what all the brouhaha is about. After listening, I couldn’t understand why people were so furious. It’s actually a good record….it just wasn’t the first one.
Anyways, I decided to take on the challenge of flipping the whole album but never finished it. The beat that I did (kinda) finish came out pretty fly. I think I’m gonna put this one back on the priority list.
MGMT for not giving a shit
Anthony Ausgang’s dope illustrations
One would think that I based this “I Love Loosies” project off of this song, but I didn’t. Its really chance that this song is called Lucy and Cherokee does the Lucille Ball cry towards the end of the track. Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself….let me back up.
I had a dope ass Jamaican ska sample (I think its Delroy Wilson, but don’t quote me on that) that I decided to loop straight. I made this beat back when I using Logic on a PC and an Akai S2000 sampler (rack version of an MPC2000). I added some drums and finger snaps to accent the track and then I put it aside and marked it as unfinished.
Enter soul artist Cherokee. I don’t remember how she heard it as I normally don’t play unfinished beats for people other than my invisible friends but she heard it and loved it. The song is more of a skit than anything but I can’t help but hitting repeat on this one to this day. It just never gets old to me…
Neal Pogue (Outkast/N.E.R.D.) for vocal production and arrangement
Cherokee for thinking outside of the box
Not sure if you know but, when I make a beat….you’re usually hearing the 3rd, 4th, or 5th version. Reason being, it usually takes me several “tries” at flipping the sample. My first set of chops don’t usually satisfy me so I’ll run through a bunch of different versions before it even gets to you.
So was the case with this one. If you don’t remember (or know) the final outcome of this one from The New Edition Beat Tape, you can listen here. I kept coming up with uptempo/happy sounding versions and I was NOT feeling that vibe at the time of making. I wanted something gritty/dirty/dark.
As you can see, version 2 is the complete opposite of that. This sounds like something a pop artists could get on and be comfortable. I didn’t want that….I didn’t want an Amerie/Beyonce girl anthem. I fought it and won. I actually strongly dislike this version but I figure I give you a peek on what goes on behind the steel curtain. Now you know…
Bobby Brown’s gumby
Jillzworth over @ ThemFightingWords has an ongoing series for producers called Scrambled Crates. Basically what happens is she’ll find a dope ass sample and send it out to about 20 producers. Everyone flips the sample in their own way, send it back, and she releases the compilation. Its a great way to stay sharp and engage in friendly competition.
The sample she sent out was sick! (she didn’t reveal the sample and I suck at pinpointing samples….ironic huh?) Me being me, I listened to the sample and instantly knew the pieces the other producers would probably chop. So I picked those pieces (evil laugh). I like the challenge of using something others have used but making it completely unrecognizeable or using it in a way that would make someone say “WTF!”.
I chose my piece and trimmed it down to 1/2 bar and looped it (shout out to RZA). I figured I’d make the “glitchiness” the focal point of the beat which I did by slicing both the sample and drums into 64ths at certain points. I also played around with timing and reordering of the drums after the second break. I wanted to see what would happen if you take a loop out of time but keep it locked into the tempo…and the result was it stayed in time of course but changed the time signature. Fun stuff….nerdy right! I know.
Well there you have it. There was a bit more to the creation but I can’t give away all my secrets…
My Akai LPD8
Sour patch kids flown in from Cali
This had to be one of the quickest beats I’ve ever made in my life. I think it took me 8 minutes (literally). If you’re not familiar with Carlitta Durand (Little Brother, Nicolay) then smack yourself… then head over to Google.
I was b.s.’in around on Twitter one night and saw she sent out a link to a song she just finished called “Ruby Jewel“. After the first30 seconds of listening, I knew this had to get sampled. The emotion and rawness of the song is so compelling. The way she creatively presented it with the beatbox and her voice as the bassline….priceless. Let’s not also forget her signature backgrounds and harmonies.
I immediately imported it into Logic and chopped up my favorite parts. I think I used 4 chops total. Thats all I needed. This beat is straight forward….no glitch….no fancy synths….just chops and drums (and the Jay-Z and Talib adlibs for extra seasoning). I just wanted to make a head nodder, and I believe I accomplished that. Sucks nobody has jumped on it yet, but oh well…
Late nights on Twitter
Whoever the owner of Twitter is…
Another one of my favorites….I’m starting to think I love everything I do. This one was done for Bama Loves Soul blog for a compilation called BamaLovesoul.com presents Wilson Pickett – a funky situation [the remixes].
Rahdu sent out a Wilson Pickett record to several producers and everyone picked a song and “remixed” it. I picked a track titled “The Night”. I went with an alternation of a 1 bar chop and a 1/2 bar chop. The guitar lick was so undeniable plus it had a synth behind it that sounded sweeter than Natalie Portman on a Tuesday night. This beat came together perfectly as I was able to find a couple of synths that matched the synth in the sample quite easily. It’s usually a chore finding synths that match samples….its an art in itself. The drums were programmed and played from a drum loop that I chopped into snare, kick, hi hat. I also chopped pieces of Mr. Pickett’s vocal runs and sprinkled in pieces here and there for good measure. I think thats what sealed the deal and added soul to the beat.
Once I was done, I sent it to Rahdu and he flipped. Glad he liked it….if he didn’t I’d probably start questioning my talent. But what creative doesn’t?
Wilson Pickett’s fur and shaved chest
Ahhh yes. Another beat that I hate LOL. This is the first version of Unusual off of The Cyndi Lauper Beat Tape. I think in total there were 5 versions of this beat. Version 1 is usually the worst version and in this case….its definitely my least favorite. Ok, enough of the self loathing.
In the original Cyndi Lauper song that was sampled, there was a ton of piano to choose from for chops. I chose and this was the outcome. As you can hear from the one that made the final cut, this version is not what I was aiming for.
Cyndi Lauper’s colorful hair
I’m not sure if you know the backstory of all of these beat tapes. It all started from this project after I returned from my first visit to Amsterdam. It was originally supposed to be just a Bob Marley beat tape, but Nas & Damian’s “Distant Relatives” project sparked the idea to make a Bob Marley/Nas mashup. The beats were already done, so it was just a matter of finding Nas acapellas to put on top.
This project was definitely one of my favorites (I say that everytime don’t I?) The minute I posted it….the response was incredible and almost overwhelming. I released this over a year ago and it is still getting over 200 downloads per month.
I decided to give the instrumental version to Ether Train as that was the track that was best recieved off of the project. The sample used is Zion Train and I kept it very simple (2 bar loop). The guitar lick was just way too good to interfere. Why would you want to? Added some simple but big drums and “viola” (pronounced wa la).
Amsterdam coffee shops
The impromptu street pillow fight
The best risotto I ever had
Tyler surprised me with this one. He hit me up on Twitter one day out of nowhere and says “Yo, I just did something to one of your beats.” I said “cool, can’t wait to hear it.”
Lo and behold he chose one of my favorite glitch moments off of The Billy Ocean Beat Tape. Never in a million years did I think I would hear an MC spit over this track due to the mental glitchiness going on but he pulled it off. The outcome is an aggressive, swag driven flow atop a beat that gives the sense of urgency and madness. If you haven’t checked out Tyler’s Neither Here Nor There mixtape yet, please do so here.
p.s. Our collab EP, Durand Durand, is coming along nicely. Can’t wait for the world to hear it.