Artist: James BrownTitle: Jungle Grooves - Greatest James Brown Samples, EverRating: 5 StarsReviewed by: Alvin "Aqua" Blanco
Pick the greatest usage of James Brown songs for Hip-Hop samples? Impossible. We're not even going to play ourselves and go that route.
Well, it can't hurt to at least try. 40,000 plus songs and you'd be hard pressed to find a weak rim shot or a missed horn hit in The Godfather's catalog. Here are some choice cuts from his vast body of work including music on his labels and from his bandmates. Sorry for snitching but ya should have cleared it anyway. The man owned his masters after all...
James Brown "Papa Dont Take No Mess"
SAMPLED BY: (Biz Markie "The Vapors" &
Mary J. Blige "You Don't Have to Worry (Remix)")
The JBs could make even the tightest band look sloppy in comparison. On "Papa Don't Take No Mess" a relatively subdued Godfather folds into this stankin' groove. Equally suitable with Blige's youthful vocals and Biz Markie's ode to the haters before we called them "haters" raps.
The JBs"The Grunt"
(Public Enemy "Night of the Living Baseheads" & "Rebel Without a Pause")
The Bomb Squad raided Brown's vaults for their brand of organized noise something awful. Owing so much of their catalog to Brown (in this case Brown's band The JB's) it's a daunting task to pick only two tracks but damn it, these were louder than bombs.
James Brown"Bring It Up (Hipsters Avenue)"
(Gang Starr "Words I Manifest")
Bird meets Brown. The Charlie Parker sax sets up the hook but this classic trackss swing is all courtesy of The Godfather.
James Brown "Blind Man Can See It" &
(Nas "Get Down"
Das Efx "They Want Efx")
A classic break is timeless. These pair of gems from Browns blaxploitation score [Black Ceasar}elicited face contortion as easily as it did in 1992 for diggity Das as it did for a post-Ether, cocksure (pause) Nas over a decade later.
James Brown "Get Up, Get Into It Get Involved"
(Big Daddy Kane "Set It Off" &
Nas "Where Are They Now")
This was an ultimate break and beat before Street Beat Records helped make stars out of cats that could freak an SP12 instead of a horn, or tuba. Kane and Nas only use a small portion of a guitar break out of its seven minutes of funk to resounding effect. We like Kanes take a little better.
"The Big Payback"
(Black Moon Headz Aint Ready)
On the R&B side En Vogue killed it on Hold On and B.I.G. got busy to it on Totals Cant You See. But our vote has to go to the Boot Camp Clik as they stomped their Timbos all over this classic break.
The JBs "Givin Up Food For Funk"
(Rappers A Lot of Them)
Hold off until the final 45 seconds of the tracks to toss up some praise for that break. Another jam from the JBs that has been pillaged over the years.
James Brown "Funky Drummer"
(Rakim "Lyrics Of Fury")
True, it is probably impossible to figure exactly how many times the Funky Drummer drums, courtesy of Clyde Stubblefield, have been hijacked, looped or chopped. Picking one song to sum up its influence is just as tough, but banking on The R is a safe bet. Shout to Superlover Cee & Casanova Ruds Do The James, too.
Lyn Collins "Put It On The Line" &
"Think (About It)"
(LL Cool J "I Shot Ya"
& Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock "It Takes Two")
Hey, it does take two to make a thing go right. A good man should have a good woman, and Lyn The Female Preacher Collins (RIP) held James down (no offense to Betty Wright). Fittingly, Put It On the Lines eerie instrumental introduced Foxy Brown when she was slinging rhymes instead of...whatever she does these days.
Myra Barnes " The Message From The Soul Sisters"
(Lil Kim "No Time")
That piano is absolutely, brilliantly, sick. Just listen, its fit for a Queen.
"I Know You Got Soul"
(Eric B & Rakim "I Know You Got Soul")
Who? Come on, read up on history. This dropped on Browns People label and Byrd was part of The Famous Flames, making him family from jump. Pay attention and thats Brown on the background help out. Fitting that a club track could inspire, I start to think and then sink/Into the paper, like I was ink Classic.
James Brown "Doing It To Death"
(Any Rapper Doesnt Matter)
Sure many a rapper have lifted elements from this all out jam session, and done a decent job. But if there is one tracks that is a testament of the syncopated funk voyage of sound that personifies James Brown, its Doing it to Death. Rest in peace.
Slum Village " I Dont Know"
Brown was the king of ad-libs with his verbal geneflucts getting swiped by MPCs as often as the rhythms. J Dilla took it one step further incorporating his voice into SVs rhyme schemes on this head nodder available on both Fantastic Vol. 1 & Vol. 2