Making excellent music for your steri-eri-erio…
It’s always a complete pleasure to hear from a member of the growing Interestment family, and today it’s the turn of Hip Hop Sam – a wise man, with a fine line in enormous trousers and wonderful records. He had this to say about rap’s beat makers…
Only 2 people are required to make a hip hop record: 1. A rapper – an arrogant, boastful, violent drug dealer, with a love of gold and weaponry, yet blessed with the ability to talk in rhyme. And 2. The producer – a man/woman who makes the beat over which the rapper talks aggressively. To do this a DJ samples a section of someone else’s music, and simply replays it in a repetitive, continuous loop over some drums. Hopefully you’ll end up with a track that sounds like gigantic monster-truck-transformers sensually dogging in a late night car park. Here’s the best four producers, like, ever…
1. DJ Premier
Premier is without a doubt the king of hip hop producers. For the entire 1990s you couldn’t attend a hip hop club night without hearing at least fifty DJ Premier tracks before getting mugged at knifepoint.
2. Dr Dre
If you’re a fan of smoking the chronic in bouncy cars, squeaky voiced maniacs who are a little bit kerraazy, or big muscular men with their tops off, then you’re probably a fan of Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent – all of whom are themselves big fans of Dr Dre for turning them into household names.
3. J Dilla
Before James Yancey tragically passed away at the age of 32 from a rare blood disease, he was responsible for classic tracks by Common, The Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes and Slum Village. His production style was original, futuristic and completely peerless. Who knows how good he’d be now if he was still alive. RIP Dilla.
4. Marley Marl
Put “ley” on the end of your first name, and then repeat the first bit. The result – instant cool rap moniker. This works with every name except for Lee. Pioneering producer Marlon Williams did this, and never looked back, going on to make loads of superb tracks for Erik B & Rakim, Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Master Ace and LL Cool J.
Aww, who’s that little cutie?
Say what you like about Eminem, but in 8 Mile, he taught us that if you embarrass yourself first, no one will ever be able to embarrass you again. It was a clever move, turning his rap attack on its head, making that other guy look like a chump. That’s why we always do something enormously humiliating first thing in the morning, just to make sure that the day can’t get any worse. We might deliberately trip up at the bus stop, or accidentally (on purpose) walk back from the office toilets completely naked. It works. So good for Eminem. Good for him. But, actually, he wasn’t the first rapper to gently mock himself, back in the early 90s a young rapper called Nasty Nas unlocked a painfully humiliating box of childhood snapshots, and hung them on a washing line for everyone to see. By which we mean he put a picture of himself as a child of the cover of his amazing Illmatic album. Look at him, staring out at you, a seven year old child, he looks lonely and frightened. And yet, when you hear him rapping as an adult he’s street tough. What a glorious juxtaposition! It made for a much better cover than the original idea, which was to have the rapper wrestling Jesus. Here’s a track from the album…
Pop star is bananas
Wardrobe malfunctions have been cropping up all over the place recently. You can barely leave the house without a greeting from a passing gentleman’s groin, and no one has yet explained the white summer dress/black underpants no-no to half of the nation’s womenfolk. Or perhaps they have? Perhaps these women want the world to know that underneath their white summer dress they are wearing black underpants. Black as the night, and silky as a unicorn’s tail. Black underpants. Anyway, these kinds of wardrobe malfunctions weren’t a problem for the press until Lily Allen stumbled along to an art gallery yesterday, with at least one third of her boob area spilling from the side of what was otherwise a very demure outfit. One showbiz reporter in particular was surprised, but not shocked, insisting that this kind of thing has got Lily Allen written all over it. That Lily Allen. She’s so damn wild.
Elsewhere in the world, Eminem (below) has reacted badly to having another man’s rectum forced onto his nose. And Leona Lewis – once the star of X Factor, with Simon Cowell – has showed the world just how well she’s coping with life by wearing a top that enhances her cleavage. Good for her.
Okay, and stop…
For those who love the site, but just don’t feel completely satisfied, we have been writing bits and pieces for the excellent celebrity gossip site, Hecklerspray. Most recently, we thought it high time to honour the greatest cinematic performances from musicians and singers. Go, have a read, and while you’re there, take time to chew over some bitingly witty articles about Hollywood and beyond.
Also, you may not know, but we’re on Twitter. You know Twitter – it’s that new site where people tweet at each other. Especially Stephen Fry, who appears to spend his entire day tweeting.
Not including this amazing gentleman
Regardless of the giant steps towards a universal beigeness, there is still a gigantic racial divide when it comes to making music. You are still unlikely, for example, to find a decent black glam rock band, in the same way that white rappers often struggle with their hip hop swagger. Of course, Parliament could glam it up with the best. And here are Hip Hop Sam‘s white rapping exceptions that prove the rule…
1. RA The Rugged Man
In the glamorous world of hip hop – which revolves around diamond encrusted jewellery, expensive champagne and, of course, massive buttocked women – it’s highly unorthodox for an “ugly white dude with a big gut and shoulder hair” to be any good at rapping. RA The Rugged Man, however, is brilliant. A disgusting man, with incredible MC skills and a fascinating life story, his debut album Die Rugged Man Die is an underrated masterpiece.
If you’re unfortunate enough to have attended a UK Hip Hop night in the past fifteen years, you’ll probably be familiar with scary, sweaty venues where EVERYONE is furiously staring at each other. No one can afford cloakrooms, drinks or deodorant. It smells. You’ll also be familiar with the UK’s finest MC – Skinnyman.
3. 3rd Bass
Although they only released one decent album – The Cactus Album – it was so good that I’ve included it here. Produced by Prince Paul who also did De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, the cover art reveals the only time in history when a white person has been allowed by hip hop’s governing committee to have a logo shaved into the back of his head.
Not much needs to be said about Eminem, other than that the Slim Shady LP was amazing, and everything after was rubbish.