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Uptempo Hip-Hop Bangers 88/89/90


acidbearboy
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On 15/05/2022 at 12:18, Camel said:


Only this week did I find out that a) Rakim produced this whole track b) Rakim played drums on it

 

Great track. My understanding was that Rakim wrote and produced nearly everything he did with Eric B. 

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I think Eric B was bringing a lot of samples to the table even if he didn't have the technical skills to actually implement them. I think that was the norm back in the day to be fair, as the skills required back then were very different to now, and often the engineer would actually be putting this stuff together. I think this is similar to the role DJ Doc was playing in the early days of BDP. I remember reading a thing where Eric B wanted to use the bassline from Don't Look Any Further and (Marley I think?) was doubtful it would work or sound in any way good.

 

It's interesting as you read around on this topic. You have people like Craig G saying he basically produced his entire debut album even though it is credited to Marley Marl. And then you have producers basically acting as engineers some of the time in implementing what the artist is bringing. eg, Prince Paul on the first De La album talks about the group themselves coming up with some of the samples.

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1 hour ago, Camel said:

I think Eric B was bringing a lot of samples to the table even if he didn't have the technical skills to actually implement them. I think that was the norm back in the day to be fair

 

Yeah, DJ's from that era were mostly there to look cool, offer up the odd sample and maybe scratch a little - Terminator X, DJ Polo, Cut Creator and Jam Master Jay all come to mind (some were not really able to scratch much either - the scratching on Edge of Panic of was Johnny Juice and Rakim did much of the scratching on their stuff, at least by his account). Behind the scenes almost everything was produced by either Marley Marl, The Bomb Squad, Rick Rubin or Prince Paul. I guess the equipment was so expensive and esoteric back then that it acted as a barrier to entry.

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Camel certainly knows his onions. Exactly what I was after, cheers! I managed to listen to all of the tunes posted on page 2 at work this morning (page 1 breaks my phone - will have to make a YT playlist for those on the PC). All good stuff, especially Bad To The Bone and It Gets No Rougher. Five seconds into Juice Crew Law and I'd already spotted samples from The Prodigy - Charley and Kicks Like A Mule - The Bouncer. Also, I had totally forgot about UMC's One To Grow On - what a tune! Juice (Know the Ledge) is another classic - think I know that one from the B-Boy videogame soundtrack on PS2. Might have been in one of the Skate games too?

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1 hour ago, petrolgirls said:

 

Yeah, DJ's from that era were mostly there to look cool, offer up the odd sample and maybe scratch a little - Terminator X, DJ Polo, Cut Creator and Jam Master Jay all come to mind (some were not really able to scratch much either - the scratching on Edge of Panic of was Johnny Juice and Rakim did much of the scratching on their stuff, at least by his account). Behind the scenes almost everything was produced by either Marley Marl, The Bomb Squad, Rick Rubin or Prince Paul. I guess the equipment was so expensive and esoteric back then that it acted as a barrier to entry.

 

I think there was a bit of a spectrum when it comes to DJs of that era. Cash Money, Tat Money, Jazzy Jeff, Premier were definitely in a different class to your Eric Bs and K-Rocks. The rumour around Eric B was that he basically just muscled his way in.

 

In terms of production, I think I disagree. Remember, there were dozens of little independent labels all over the place too and it felt like there were a million hip hop producers putting stuff out.

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3 hours ago, Camel said:

In terms of production, I think I disagree. Remember, there were dozens of little independent labels all over the place too and it felt like there were a million hip hop producers putting stuff out.


I’m sure you’re right. The impression I had in the late 80’s was that a lot of the bigger groups were externally produced - Run DMC, Kool G Rap & Polo, Beasties, De La Soul, BDP and so forth. By by the early to mid 90’s groups like Wu Tang, Mobb Deep, OutKast, The Roots and Cypress Hill were pretty much all self produced and groups that survived from the 80’s like De La and the Beasties started to take control of their own production. Less of a thing for solo artists though. 

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I can see what you’re saying but I don’t think that pattern really exists. Kool G Rap was part of Marley’s Juice Crew who weren’t far off being a blueprint for the Wu; a self-contained unit of producer plus team of MCs. The Symphony is Protect Ya Neck for an earlier generation.

 

BDP’s albums were self-produced (ok they used Ced Gee’s SP for the first). 
 

EPMD produced their own stuff from the off.

 

Later there are countless examples of artists putting out albums with whichever rent-a-producer was hot on the day.

 

I think De La and Prince Paul coming together is just some freak planets-aligning-once-in-a-million-years-to-bring-light-to-the-universe type of thing. 
 

I’m just rambling now so I’ll stop.

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