Monday, 23 June 2014

Generic list post: Non de Replay edition

Real instrument replays in rap songs really do suck, but then you'll know that already if you've ever had to suffer UGK's debut album Too Hard To Swallow or had the misfortune to catch Public Enemy live with their lumpen Mordred-soundin' ass backing band over the past 14 years. You could hire a dream-team group comprised of members of The Bar Kays circa 1968 & The JB's circa 1972 and they'd still sound like an '80's chat show house-band the second they attempted to duplicate an Ultimate Breaks & Beats staple for someone to rap over.

Here's ten great real instrument rap songs which inexplicably bucked the curse of the replay by some sliver of luck, and ten of the worst real instrument rap songs which turned A grade source material into Z grade session-musician shite.

The Good:

Too $hort - The Ghetto (1990)
Treacherous Three - Body Rock (1980)
Dr Dre ft. Snoop, Kurupt & Nate Dogg - Next Episode (1999)
The Fearless Four - Rockin' It (1982)
UGK - Chrome Plated Woman (2007)
Eric B. & Rakim - Move The Crowd (1987)
Lil' Wayne ft. TQ & Big Tymers - Way Of Life (2002)
Curren$y - Famous (2010)
Super 3 - When You're Standing On The Top (1982)
HD of Bearfaced - No Pretendo (2013)

The Bad:

Sugar Hill Gang - Apache (Jump On It) (1981)
AZ ft. SWV - Hey AZ (1998)
Nas - Disciple (2004)
UGK - Cocaine In The Back Of The Ride (1992)
Treacherous Three - At The Party (1980)
Scarface - Mind Playin' Tricks '94 (1994)
Eric B. & Rakim - To The Listeners (1988)
KanYe West - Hey Mama (2005)
Grand Master Flash & The Furious 5 - It's Nasty (Genius Of Love) (1981)
Elzhi ft. Royce Da 5'9 & Stokley Williams - Life's A Bitch (2011)

19 comments:

Styles Palmer said...

Peep Cormega's Raw Forever (disc 2) if you want some truly tepid recorded-into-a-casio sounding ass live instrument replays.

Si Mane Price said...

Christ, yeah, I forgot about that.

d said...

E-40 - 1 Luv. Not sure which column Dredio falls in though.

smh @ that Cormega album. T-Mix and Sean T were right cunts for ruining/reminding you theres a better version.

Basically the only time Ive heard rappers sound good over REAL MUSIC is Mystikal cos hes more like James Brown than any comparable rapper anyways and Quik cos so many of his beats were just the sound of someone mad they werent born 20 yrs earlier. And even still no ones tryna hear that.

Ive remember hearing where a producer kept doing that good a job copying he was getting sued so started making them worse rather than prove it every time. Very sad story.

N.Brown said...

Neptunes NERD album shits on Spymob one.

Ben Jones said...

What's wrong with Mind Playin Tricks 94?

Si Mane Price said...

Ben, it sounds like it's being played by Jamiroquai's backing band.

N Brown, good call.

Done, Dredio is definitely column A.

The CritIQ said...

The good: Ghostface & Adrian Younge 12 Reasons to die. The Bad: Any of DJ Muggs's non sampler work. The Ugly: That snowgoons/MOP album. Can't stand shitty general midi sound module preset reliant bitches. There are good live/played music rap acts tho.

Si Mane Price said...

Jonzun Crew and Newcleus both used real instruments on their early classic shit/in their live performances.

noz said...

i always thought 'chrome plated women' was built around an actual sample of 'hercules,' just beefed up via additional instrumentation as per the usual pimp c process.

this is probably the first time i've listened to any of the bernie bismark hard to swallow remixes in however many years it's been since i got a clean rip of southern way. that shit is absolutely pathetic. when i interviewed bun he said that he and pimp never even heard those mixes until they had a manufactured copy of the album in hand.

noz said...

i've never been totally clear on the chronology but if "the message" is in fact an interpolation of panache's "every brother ain't a brother" and not the other way around then it's definitely the frontrunner choice for column a. http://www.whosampled.com/sample/41083/Panach%C3%A9-Every-Brother-Ain't-a-Brother-Grandmaster-Flash-Grandmaster-Melle-Mel-Duke-Bootee-The-Furious-Five-The-Message/

and the synthy replayed retail version of jay electronica's "exhibit a" is superior to the sampled original imo.

step one said...


You know there's a promo version of that Nas track that wasn't replayed (or at least sounds lot more like a sample) ?

Also, I like Mind Playing Tricks 94.

Si Mane Price said...

Yeah, I've never been able to find out for certain whether The Message preceded Every Brother Ain't A Brother or vice versa either.

That's reminded me of a(nother?) blatant early omission here: Spoonin' Rap by Spoonie Gee, although I guess it was probably played by the same guys from Cloud One's Patty Duke.

Chrome Plated Woman sounds a tad cleaner than Hercules to me.

Si Mane Price said...

Yeah, Step, the O.G Disciple was great. Shitty replayed album version is the biggest chief offender of the noughties, though.

d said...

Too Hard To Swallows no great #4080 tragedy when in 2014 you can just combine Southern Way w Pregnant Pussy, Muthafucka Aint Mine, Feel Like The One Whos Doing Dope, Pocketful Of Stones and Im So Bad onto one cd.

Ultramagnetic's 2nd album is the worse example imo. Especially when you consider their producer was one of the goat sample geniuses.

swag dad said...

Isn't the bassline on the original Paid in Full an interpolation? So is the Wayne track an interpolation of an interpolation?

Si Mane Price said...

Isn't Paid In Full a straight loop of Don't Look Any Further?

Si Mane Price said...

Unpopular opinionz: Pumpkin & co's replay of Man Machine on Rockin' It sounds even more futuristic than the real thing.

hotbox said...

Too $hort's "Get In Where You Fit In" album is another good example of live rap instrumentation done right. So is most parts of the Dangerous Crew compilation that came out a year or 2 later.

The CritIQ said...

The corniest sample interpolation/reproduction is Ghostface Killah's "It's over." https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FuqBWW6sSq4

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