Various Artists: Droppin' Science: Greatest Samples From The Blue Note Lab

With the massive popularity of keyboards and synthesizers, it is still refreshing to know that the art of beat and loop digging has not totally fallen wayside. Those LP’s priced at discount that once filled various record store bins were turned into classics by a surging Hip-Hop community in the eighties. Artists such as Lyn Collins would enjoy a new breath into their careers as producers would flip their originals into monster Rap hits. With that thought process in mind, pioneering Jazz label Blue Note Records releases Droppin’ Science (Blue Note). A compilation highlighting some of their most sampled work, this effort will please collectors and fans of the golden era alike.

Lou Donaldson’s “It’s Your Thing” starts things off with a grooving bass line that the masses will instantly recognize from Brand Nubian’s street anthem “Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down.” The nine minute set is further carried through with some soothing horns. Ronnie Foster’s “Mystic Brew” will put a smile on any A Tribe Called Quest fan’s face. The opening vibes on the song will take the listener right to the scene at the diner of “Electric Relaxation.” As a further shout out to Phife, Tip and Ali; the opening chords that made “Scenario” so crazy are alive on Brother Jack McDuff’s “Oblighetto.”

Things get a little melancholy on “Get Out Of My Life Woman” by Joe Williams. These bluesy keys were made famous on Kool G. Rap’s gritty narrative “Ill Street Blues.” Admirers of Black Moon’s “Who Got The Props” can look no further to Ronnie Laws’ “Tidal Wave.” The sweeping vibes found on the track will prove to be a fitting backdrop for one of those lazy afternoons. Additionally, the original to Gangstarr’s street banger “Code Of The Streets” is present too (“Little Green Apples” Monk Higgins).

All in all, Droppin’ Science won’t break any atoms as most of the titles won’t be hard to find individually with the proper homework. But what this compilation does offer is the simplicity of having everything bunched together; giving the listener a starters kit to learn more about notable samples. With liner notes from The Roots’ ?uestlove included, this disc will prove to be a nice addition to anyone’s collection.


First ten comments left on this review will win a copy of Droppin’ Science. Good luck!

Ronnie Foster

"Mystic Brew"