“If L. Migraine Don’t Trust You…”
The fall of 2000 (and subsequent discovery of Napster) signaled the beginning of one of my more random quirks: searching endlessly for the instrumental to a given song and creating my burned CD series, “Jackin’ For Beats”. There were themes, countdowns, all that sort of thing. Add to that a habit of not listening to anything but instrumentals before 6PM on Sundays…and things start to make sense.
I digress, though.
Despite the obvious presented in the title, I’m going to leave the microwave beatmakers alone, as they have it hard enough making mumbles and incoherents appeal to the youth and grown-assed adults that should know better. No, I’m going to focus on 10 of my up-to-this-point favorite beats. I’ll even spare the “Well, sometimes you just wanna hear the music/if I wanted to listen to just words I’d buy a spoken word album” diatribes that seem to pop up during such discussions.
Anyway…on with the show. The 10-1 setup is just for show…sort of 😉
10. “The Prelude”– Jay-Z (produced by B-Money): There’s not much I can say about this beat. I have to stop myself from getting my Kappa shimmy on ‘cause it’s really just a smooth track. Jay does his normal thing but I really can’t see anyone else having the same impact on the track.
9. “The Food”– Common (produced by Kanye West): I’ve loved this beat ever since the “Chappelle Show” episode with Common and Kanye trading verses in a studio kitchen. Honestly, this is the Kanye I miss, but I’m afraid Yeezus and turning (attention) whores into (attention) housewives are here to stay.
8. “Elevators (Me & You)”– OutKast (produced by Organized Noize): I.HAVE.NO.WORDS.
7. “Peter Piper”– Run-D.M.C. (produced by Russell Simmons & Rick Rubin): I specifically want to learn how to properly scratch records so I can mimic DJ Jazzy Jeff’s routine to this. Cool points if you know the song/artist sampled.
6. “Dead Presidents”– Jay-Z (produced by Ski Beatz): The song that got me into liking Jay-Z was “Things That U Do” from the Vol. 3 album. But if there’s ONE track that I’ll say cemented Jay’s position at #1 on MY list…it’s “Dead Presidents”.
And while it’s one of those beats no one really needs to spit over…I’ll allow Lupe and J. Cole to do their thing.
5. “Shook Ones Pt. II”– Mobb Deep (produced by Havoc): First off- rest in peace, Prodigy. Second…I mean…bruh…there’s not much to be said for this track. From the enigmatic sample to B-Rabbit sending Papa Doc into early retirement to your future attempts at a freestyle…you cannot deny the impact of this track. It’s pure menace, pure Queensbridge madness.
4. “Who Shot Ya”– The Notorious B.I.G. (produced by Nashiem Myrick): Speaking of menace and madness…I’d say this track is the Brooklyn answer to “Shook Ones”. It’s brooding, frightening, just full of fear.
And damn do I love it.
3. “I Still Love You”– 702 (produced by The Neptunes): I could have gone with “Grindin’”, or the beats they produced for the Nike commercials during the early 2000s.
But that would have been WAY too easy.
Not too many know about this gem, and it’s a damned shame. I can’t explain what it is but I’ve had this beat on repeat ever since my mans J. Collie came through Andy Holt praising this beat.
2. “Public Service Announcement (Interlude)”– Jay-Z (produced by Just Blaze): There’s MANY a track that I will say is my theme song or appeals to certain part of my persona.
But if you had to sum up lil’ ol’ me in ONE beat…this would be it. Just 100% unapologetic in its nature, refined yet unruly. Just Blaze knew what he was doing when he crafted this masterpiece, I swear.
1. “Moments in Love”– The Art of Noise (produced by The Art of Noise): There are many, many beats in this world that transcend life, liberty, and might even make you pursue some happiness. You damn near blow up the moment the opening chords come blaring through the speakers or headphones. You and that beat are like simpatico.
That’s how I feel about “Moments in Love”. Quite possibly the best thing outta London since “Chewing Gum” and Slick Rick.
Plus: name me one rapper outside Krayzie Bone that can make this track work within the hip hop arena. Yeah, it’s Krayzie…but I’m saying, though.
Man…Bilal from “House Party 2” had it right: the producer, THE DJ, is the one making these artists (sorry and nice alike) who they are. God bless the producers, from the cookie-cutter Young Metros and Lex Lugers to the RZAs, the Kanyes, Dillas, Timbos, Dres, Just Blazes…so on and so forth. Too many beats in the world (and my collection) to name, but I hope y’all can rock with what I’m cookin’.
Write that down, ‘cause that was clever 😉
Peace, two fingers.
“NOT BAD MEANING BAD BUT BAD MEANING GOOD!”