Since Hip Hop is my focus, it would be appropriate to reintroduce Sample Sunday with the Mos Def classic "Hip Hop". I loved this joint in 1999, and I STILL play this for inspiration. Black On Both Sides was released 15 years ago today, so it is fitting to have "Hip Hop" as Sample Sunday material. Mos Def set the tone for Black On Both Sides by spittin' heat on "Hip Hop". "Speech is my hammer, bang the world into shape now let it fall" is how Mighty Mos opened the seminal cut, and it set the tone for what was to follow throughout "Hip Hop" (and Black On Both Sides for that matter). The lyrical bravado exhibited is nothing short of incredible by Mos Def. Here's "Hip Hop", in all its glory.
Credit Diamond D for his diggin' in the crates mentality with "Hip Hop" (peep the double entendre). The drums used for "Hip Hop" come courtesy of the Stanley Clarke song "Slow Dance" (1978), also used in the Nas classic "It Ain't Hard To Tell". The meat of the beat, however, belongs to the incomparable David Axelrod, one of my personal favorites when it comes to a sample-laden catalog. "The Warning Talk (Part II)" is from the 1970 Capitol Records album Earth Rot, and the apocalyptic soundscape provided by this song laid the groundwork for Mos Def to wax poetic over the course of three-plus minutes.
Happy 15th Anniversary for Black On Both Sides. Go back and revisit one of the gems in the Mos Def catalog. From "Umi Says" to "Mathematics" to "Ms. Fat Booty", this album showcased the Mos Def we all came to love and respect. Now known as Yasiin Bey, you can find the multitalented artist on Twitter (@MosDefOfficial). You can also check out the other players involved in "Hip Hop". Stanley Clarke (@MrStanleyClarke) still has a viable career, leading The Stanley Clarke Band and releasing a new album Up (www.stanleyclarke.com). Diamond D (@DiamondDITC) has just dropped a dope album The Diam Piece, available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-diam-piece/id909406696. David Axelrod has an illustrious career as composer, producer, arranger, with a deep discography spanning many decades (www.davidaxelrodmusic.com). His music has been sampled time and time again by a multitude of producers in the Hip Hop realm. All of these puzzle pieces created "Hip Hop", and Hip Hop is better for its existence.