Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Decoding The Hip Hop Genome- Ultimate Breaks And Beats

You'll see me quote the website The- quite a bit. The site has tons of information about who sampled what, in what song, the name of the sampled artist, the album the sampled artist's sampled track comes from,etc,etc. All very searchable and cross-referenced and just generally a boon to my existence. I got into sampling because I got into hip hop and DJ's from the first time I saw the Sugar Hill Gang on TV (plus before this time my mom dated a radio DJ, and I was fascinated by all those records).

If you didn't live in New York, Hip Hop was incredibly mysterious in the early days..the records that were out (that you could find), were made with live instruments by house bands, playing music of club hits for folks to rap over. This really only hinted at how real hip hop was made: 2 turntables and a microphone..

With a little persistence I began to find evidence of "real hip hop"..mixtapes of radio shows, films of break dancing, and the legendary Busy Bee and friends X-Mas party tape showed how the DJ's got the crowd moving by extending the instrumental breaks of songs. By having two copies of a record, playing the break on one turntable, then cuing the break on the second table, then starting the break again on the second turntable, when the snippet ended on the first..over and over til the dancers were tired and eventually until a revolution was born.

The records the DJ's spun for their break beats were highly guarded secrets until Lenny Roberts, a cat from the Bronx with an incredible knowledge of 60's and 70's music single-handedly decoded the genome of Hip Hop with his 25 LP series, Ultimate Breaks and Beats (re-issued on a 3 disc-2 CD mp3,1 dvd aiff)..Just about any hip hop record made after 1985 uses a break from records included in this series. Some of the records have been edited from their original form to extend the breaks. Some of the records are awful as a whole, but contain breaks that have launched thousands of Hip Hop tunes. Like it or not, these are the most influential bootleg records ever ,as well as being one of the first DJ tools.
Not only did Lenny chronicle the DJ side of the hip hop movement, he also added tunes to the series that had never been sampled before, that would became standards in the DJ/producer world. On a personal note, these records started me on a crate digging fetish that will prolly end only with my passing. A very eclectic mix..w/many never on legit CD songs. 174 tunes. The DNA of hip hop. See the complete track list at wiki.

Here are a few cuts from the series that you'll probably recognize, followed by a partial list of some of the hip hop artists who used the cuts as samples...

Hector-Village Callers
Beastie Boys - "The Blue Nun"
Cypress Hill - "The Funky Cypress Hill Shit"
Cypress Hill - "The Phuncky Feel One"
De la Soul - "The Mack Daddy on the Left"
Ice Cube - "Jackin' for Beats"
King Bee - "Havin a Good Time"
Redman - "Redman Meets Reggie Noble"
Wreckx-N-Effect - "New Jack Swing"

Heaven & Hell- 20th Century Steel Band
3rd Bass - "Soul in the Hole"
Anonymous ft Eminem - "Green & Gold"
Black Eyed Peas - "Say Goodbye"
Blade - "Mind of an Ordinary Citizen"
Blahzay ft. Uncle Murda - "Make A Livin"
Chubb Rock - "Keep it Street"
Doug E Fresh - "Back in the Days"
Dream Warriors - "Voyage Through the Multiverse"
Jennifer Lopez - "Jenny from the Block"
Jungle Brothers - "Jungle Brother (True Blue)"
Kenny Dope - "Makin' a Living"
Masta Ace - "Go Where I Send Thee"
Positive K - "Ain't No Crime"
Salt-N-Pepa - "Heaven and Hell"
Soul II Soul - "Dance"
Spoonie Gee - "Hit Man"
Stop the Violence Movement - "Self-Destruction"
Whoridas - "Triple Beam Threat"
Xzibit - "LA Times"

Mountain - Long Red
A Tribe Called Quest - "Glamour and Glitz"
A Tribe Called Quest - "Jazz (We've Got)"
Artifacts - "The Ultimate"
Capitol Tax - "Can You Dig It"
Cash Money & Marvelous - "Ugly People Be Quiet"
Compton's Most Wanted - "Growin' up in the 'Hood"
Depeche Mode - "Walking in My Shoes"
Double XX Posse - "School of Hard Knocks"
EPMD - "It's My Thing"
EPMD - "Strictly Business"
Eric B and Rakim - "Eric B is President"
Eric B and Rakim - "Put Your Hands Together"
Esham - "666"
Ghostface Killah - "Child's Play"
Ice Cube - "The Birth"
Inspectah Deck - "Trouble Man"
Kanye West - "The Glory"
Kurious - "Walk Like a Duck"
LMNO - "Grin and Bear It"
MadKap - "Beddie-Bye"
MC Shan - "So Fresh"
Nas - "It Ain't Hard to Tell"
NWA - "Real Niggaz Don't Die"
Peanut Butter Wolf - "A Tale of Five Cities"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "Ghettos of the Mind"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "Good Life"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "Return of the Mecca"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "Searchin'"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "Soul Brother #1"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "What's Next on the Menu?"
PMD - "I'll Wait"
Public Enemy - "Louder than a Bomb"
Rakim - "New York (Ya Out There)"
Sixtoo - "Duration Project"
Special Ed - "Walk the Walk"
Tragedy - "Shalom a Leck"
Young Black Teenagers - "Roll with the Flavor"

The Champ-The Mohawks
Aaliyah ft Slick Rick - "Got to Give it Up"
Alan Braxe - "Vertigo"
Bahamadia - "3 tha Hard Way Remix"
Big Daddy Kane - "Smooth Operator"
Chubb Rock - "Keep it Street"
Coldcut - "More Beats and Pieces"
De la Soul - "Keepin' the Faith"
Dilated Peoples - "Strength"
DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - "Groove"
DJ Shadow - "Entropy"
DOC - "Lend Me an Ear"
Double XX Posse - "On a Mission"
El Meswy - "Nadie"
EPMD - "The Big Payback"
Eric B and Rakim - "Eric B is President"
Erick Sermon - "Stay Real"
Everlast - "Syndicate"
Fu-Schnickens - "La Schmoove"
Guy - "Groove Me"
Hammer - "Pump it Up"
Ini Kamoze - "Here Comes the Hot Stepper"
J-Live - "Vampire Hunter"
J-Live ft Lone Catalysts - "Dynamite"
Keith Murray - "Get Lifted"
King T - "At Your Own Risk"
KRS-One - "Step into a World (Rapture's Delight)"
Live Human - "Quick Eleven"
Looptroop - "Four Elements"
Lord Finesse - "Return of the Funky Man"
Low Profile - "Aladdin's on a Rampage"
Maestro Fresh Wes - "Let Your Backbone Slide"
Main Source - "Large Professor"
MC Don & EZ Ed - "Party Rocker"
Michael Jackson - "2 Bad (Refugee Camp Mix)"
Mistress & DJ Madame E - "Hypergroove"
Nice & Smooth - "No Bones"
Original Concept - "Can U Feel It?"
Prince Paul - "Prince Paul vs. the World"
Redman - "Da Funk"
Steady B - "Believe Me Das Bad"
Stetsasonic - "Miami Bass"
Stop the Violence Movement - "Self-Destruction"
T La Rock - "It's Yours"
TKA - "Maria"
Trey Lewd - "Hoodlums Hoo Ride"
Tymez Up - "Klap Tu Dis"

Cavern - Liquid Liquid
De la Soul - "Ego Trippin' (Pt 2)"
Grandmaster Melle Mel & the Furious Five - "White Lines"
Jungle Brothers - "Beyond this World"
LL Cool J - "Something Like a Phenomenon"
Notorious BIG - "Nasty Boy"
Ursula 1000 - "Gambit"

Bring It Here - Wild Sugar
Beastie Boys - "Brass Monkey"

Planetary Citizen- Mahavishnu Orchestra (with John McLaughlin)
Jaz - "A Nation Divided"
Massive Attack - "Unfinished Symphony"
Schoolly D - "Black Education"
Slick Rick - "Kit (What's the Scoop)"
Stetsasonic - "So Let the Fun Begin"


Cody B said...

Check the various section of youngmosstongue

Stupify said...

There is very scant info about 'breakbeat lenny' around the internet...any chance of doing a bio of the guy on this blog???

Cody B said...

Thanks for all the comments Stupify...If I ever get off my ass and do something more than internet research...lenny would be a good person to track down and talk to. I'd have to get over my fear of people too.