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Who Flipped It Better?

Who Flipped It Better?: The Lox vs. Curren$y

Happy Holidays KN readers and welcome to another installation of Who Flipped It Better! This week, I’m diving in to examine two modern flips of Stanley Clarke’s “Yesterday Princess,” from his 1974 self-titled LP. The two tracks up for inspection: The LOX – “I Wanna Thank You,” produced by Nashiem Myrick and Curren$y’s “Job” produced by DJ Mr. Rogers. Stanley Clarke’s original is a bass driven cut that induces a meditative state upon the listener. Sonically, it sounds deep and spacious without many different instrumental elements contributing to the song. And the sounds sort of come and go playing into the background and complimenting the hypnotic experience the lead bass creates. This bass-line is one of the illest I’ve heard and I’m honestly surprised the song hasn’t been flipped by more reputable producers (maybe a clearance issue) for more prominent tracks. Released in 1998, The LOX’s debut, Money, Power & Respect, was a super successful album laced with strong crossover appeal and the help of continued support from the streets. I don’t particularly like this album because of its lack of grime but it does rank amongst the better Bad Boy records from that era. “I Wanna Thank You” is a very pretty song and the addition of Kelly Price on the hook only adds to the beauty. Although the instrumental has a heavy R&B vibe to it, Styles, Sheik and Kiss sound on point as always reflecting and giving thanks for their trials and tribulations. The Hitmen producer, Nashiem ... Read More »

Who Flipped It Better?: Heavy D vs. Pimp C

Greetings KN readers! This segment of Who Flipped Better dives into the sampling of Patrice Rushen’s track, “Givin’ It Up Is Givin’ Up” from her 1979 album Pizzazz. The two tracks that we’ll look at hold the memory of two unique and celebrated artists: Heavy D and Pimp C.  We’ll examine Heavy D’s track  “Waterbed Hev” from his 1997 album of the same name and Pimp C’s “I’sa Playa” off the 2005 LP Sweet James Jones Stories. Patrice Rushen’s original has been sampled numerous times by artists such as De La Soul, Gravediggaz, and The Coup amongst others because it is a deep and full-bodied song and like much of the popular music from that era, it falls somewhere in the realm of the funk/soul and disco realm. Producer Daven “Prestige” Vanderpool sped up the original sample for “Waterbed Hev” and filtered out some low end taking away from the fullness but leaving space for guest vocalist Vinia Mojica’s opulent voice to shine. The drum pattern is in classic Hip Hop form utilizing a simple and smacking boom-bap beat that allows Hev to flow shea-butter smooth as he confesses his partially disguised attraction towards a certain uptown female. One of the reasons that I dig this beat is its simplicity. Prestige sampled the original somewhat subtly and in a pretty straightforward way. Rather than restructuring the original, he used only a couple chops and short loops along with some of his own musical additions to make up the melodic elements. ... Read More »

Who Flipped It Better?: Kanye West “Drive Slow” vs. Tupac Shakur “Shorty Wanna Be A Thug”

For this installment of Who Flipped it Better, I’ll be diving into the re-creation of jazzman Hank Crawford’s 1973 release, “Wildflower.” The flips that I’m going to examine come in the form of two widely popular tracks stemming from artist’s that have been regarded as some of the most talented individuals that we’ve heard. From Tupac Shakur’s 9x platinum album All Eyez On Me, he and producer Johnny J tackled the Hank Crawford sample for the track, “Shorty Wanna Be A Thug.” While ten years later, the windy city kid, Kanye West, took his own swing at “Wildflower,” releasing “Drive Slow” featuring GLC and Paul Wall, courtesy of Kanye’s album, Late Registration. Kanye’s flip of “Wildflower” is not mind blowing by any means and it is instantly recognizable had one been exposed to Crawford’s original prior to hearing “Drive Slow.” And what Mr. West did here was create a hypnotic feel, lightly speeding up and looping the melodic intro of the original on top of a jazzy down-tempo drum loop, spicing it up by placing rough chops of Crawford’s stellar saxophone throughout, giving the instrumental a kind of organic, live feeling when they hit. The deep bass-line is simple, but sonically matches very well, providing a certain syrupy thickness to the rest of the elements in the beat. I enjoyed the creativity in adding the drum break (which I couldn’t find out if he created or sampled) transition and background vocals which both fit perfectly and made things sound that ... Read More »

Who Flipped It Better: Action Bronson vs. Stalley

Greetings readers! It’s been a minute but I’m back with a new installment of Who Flipped It Better. The good man Jeremiah laced me with the idea to ponder on the use of Aaron Neville’s “Hercules,” for two songs from newer emcees, Action Bronson’s “Steve Wynn” and Stalley’s “Hercules.” Produced by Party Supplies, “Steve Wynn” emphasizes the bass-line from “Hercules,” while the hook is a dope vocal from the original that begins with the words, “Jungle rules, can’t be no fool.” They did not flip the sample into anything completely new but they did do a great job of expanding the sound making the song exciting and vibrant. The forceful bass gives Bronson the perfect foundation to rip away at the track in a funky manner. The kicks drums are subtle while the snare and open hats drive the drum loop but what I found coolest was their use of the toms and lighter kicks, keeping the track on a live level. The drums don’t necessarily bang, but they do fill the song out in a way that allows it to keep its original flavor. Bronsolini eats this track up in classic Hip Hop fashion by talking shit in his own unique way and his voice sounds damn near taylor-made for the beat, which is probably why they did the whole Blue Chips project together. Bronson comes out of the gates, “Twisting joints like a contortionist” and claiming he’s been, “Wildin’ since the rabbi snipped it,” which are just ... Read More »

Who Flipped It Better?: Zion I vs. Da Wastlandz

Yo what’s up KN readers! This week, we are comparing and contrasting the flip of the 1982 song, “Old and Wise” by The Alan Parsons Project for the tracks, “Roots” by Da Wastlandz and Zion I’s, “Birds Eye View.” Released in 2005 on Zion I’s True and Livin’ album, production credits for “Birds Eye View” go to the beatsmith of the duo Amp Live.  Unfortunately, after an extensive amount of cyber digging, I was unable to find who provided the instrumental for Da Wastlandz “Roots,” or much about the group in general. But I did come across the credited producers off the compilation album the song is on from, Next Up: Rap’s New Generation, released in 2000. To begin things, I want to comment on the lyrical content in both of these songs. Conceptually they are different, with “Roots” touching on the economic oppression Americans deal with specifically in relation to the African-American experience, while “Birds Eye View” focuses on the emcees interpersonal relationship with Hip Hop music. The two instrumentals are similar in terms of the chops used and how the sample was flipped but the beats sonically sound entirely different. “Roots” is much more heavy on the low end giving the sample a nice dusty crate sound, but it plays to the background of the track while “Birds Eye View” presents the sample in an alive, more upfront fashion giving the beat a brighter feel. However, I love the drums on both of the tracks. They each have ... Read More »

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