Tuesday, February 10, 2015

You Snooze, You Lose

Long about 8th grade/high school, I started paying more attention to rap.  There was still a boatload of it out there that I didn't "get" (specifically, N.W.A.), but I liked the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy a ton.  Both of those bands had great DJs - specifically DJ Hurricane and Terminator X, respectively.  Besides their innovative scratch technique, they were deep into their vinyl collections, pulling out only the funkiest, most obscure beats and samples.  The way they worked them into the tunes always had me scratching my head saying "where in the hell did they get this stuff?"  I believe that the beats and samples of Public Enemy and Beastie Boys have helped their music stand the test of time in a genre (hip hop) that evolves far quicker than most genres.

The beats sparked my imagination.  I loved how they could pull beats from such disparate sources and still weave them into a seamless, funky, original sounding tune.  I began to listen to my cassettes and records more critically, paying special attention to the beats.  I even went so far as trying to isolate and loop some of the beats on my own.*  One beat I attempted to loop was "Dizzy" by Tommy Roe.  Here's the original Tommy Roe tune:

Lo and behold, though it's taken years, someone has finally used it.  Check out this Action Bronson track - I'm pretty sure it's the "Dizzy" beat slowed down.

Of course, the world belongs to those who get their ass up early and hustle.  I don't honestly think I could've done anything with this, but when I heard this tune today, I was all "dammit that dude took my beat".  C'est la vie.

*-Would love to share them, but I don't want anyone to steal them.  The best thing is that they come from blatantly white bread sources like Billy Joel and the Byrds.

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