Rewind! is a new page dedicated to the classics! And all the other dope stuff in between! Enjoy!
Kanye West – Family Business
I’m taking it back to 2004 for this week’s Rewind with Kanye West’s soulful tribute Family Business. The track is off Kanye’s debut masterpiece The College Dropout and it serves as a tribute to the god brother of Tarrey Torae, who is one of the many collaborators on the album. First let me talk about The College Dropout and what an incredible album it was and still is. Whilst many argue that My Dark Twisted Fantasy is Kanye’s greatest work, I personally think that College Dropout is his number one album. Everything about this album is super dope. The style that Kanye had back then was something else, it was so smooth and eloquent, a mile away from what it is today unfortunately. The album was musically engaging and you could feel the passion in every song, it is just one of the most real albums in hip hop.
My favourite song off the album and this weeks Rewind as mentioned before is track #20 Family Business. I still remember the first time I heard this track and it just blew me away, I literally listened to it about 20 or 30 times in a row, no bullshit! Whilst all the tracks on College Dropout were amazing none connected quite like Family Business. The soulful singing, the impassioned beat and Kanye’s polished vocals all combine to create an intimate experience. Unlike the Kanye of today, Family Business highlighted that money and riches don’t mean a thing which is what makes it such a powerful and beautiful track. What I would do to have the old Kanye back!
Anyways enjoy Kanye West’s Family Business from his debut album The College Dropout, your Rewind of the week!
The Last Emperor – Secret Wars Pt 1
With this week’s Rewind I’m taking it back to 1997 with one of the dopest songs ever written. There were a lot of incredible tracks penned in 1997 such as Wu-Tang’s Triumph, Biggie’s Ten Crack Commandments, Busta’s Put your hands where my eyes could see and LL Cool J’s Phenomenon (this list could have gone on forever) however; there was one track that flew under the radar that really shouldn’t have and that track is Secret Wars Pt 1 by The Last Emperor. The genius behind this track is just amazing, it truly is one of the coolest hip hop songs ever written.
So the track starts out with Emperor describing what it would be like to pit his favourite emcees up against some of the illest comic book characters ‘What if I had the power to gather all my favourite emcees/With the illest comic book characters, and they became arch enemies’. Emperor then sets the scene ‘The Emperor and Stan Lee would coach the two opposing teams/Keep it clean, no bats, no gats, guns, no interference’. What comes next is hands down the coolest battle of all time, Emperor goes through and describes each battle with the emcees coming out triumphant. We start off with KRS-One up against Professor X which is followed by GZA’s demolishment of Dr Strange. Up next is Reggie Noble a.k.a. Redman who overcomes Dr David Banner (The Hulk) and it doesn’t stop there with Busta Rhymes defeating Dr Octapus. Rass Kass steps up to the plate and delivers an ultra-magnetic blow to take down Magneto whilst the women step in with Lauryn Hill blasting Storm from X-Men with fellow Fugee’s member Wycleaf’s guitar.
The battle keeps going with Jeru the Damaja dominating the Beast, after that it’s time for the groups to step in with Das EFX sending the TMNT back to the sewer. The groups continue with The Boot Camp Click polishing off G.I. Joe and Cobra Mercenaries and it wouldn’t be a battle without Method Man who breezes past Wolverine. The final battle is left for Nasty Nas to take out Peter Parker.
What an amazing experience it is to listen to this track, you hang on to every word wandering who is going to come in next, how they are going to win their battle, the word play is just astonishing. Everything about track makes it a true masterpiece, definietely one of the coolest tunes ever written. What’s even better is there is a part 2 which goes for even longer featuring a whole bunch of different legendary rappers however; I don’t think it quite matches to part 1. Do yourself a favour if you haven’t heard this track before, sit back and listen to every single word, it’s nothing short of fascinating. The Last Emperor most definitely one of the most underrated lyricists in hip hop. Check Secret Wars Pt 1 below!
2pac – Fuck All Y’all
In celebration of what would have been Pac’s 44th birthday, this week’s Rewind will be Fuck All Y’all which is easily one of my favourite tracks from the legendary rapper. Fuck All Y’all featured on Pac’s second posthumous album R U Still Down? (Remember Me) which was released in 1997. Whilst the track was released after his death the production was still fundamentally similar to the original recording with only a bit of mastering and perfecting of the instrumental and vocals. Pac’s trademark smooth flow is at it’s best here and from the opening lines ‘Money gone fuck friends, I need a homie that know me’ you just know he’s about to go hard. The song see’s Pac create a diatribe against his so called friends and talks about how he has no one to turn to in times of need.
Production was provided by We Got Kidz and rumours suggest that the track was written some time between 1992-1994. Like most of Pac’s songs Fuck All Y’all is a deep and insightful listening, it navigates us through the rappers paranoid life. R U Still Down? (Remember Me) went on to reach multi-platinum status and has sold over two million copies since it’s release.
It’s safe to say 2pac was and always will be one of the greatest rappers of all time, there will never be another emcee like him and he will forever be missed.
Rest In Beats Tupac Amaru Shakur.
Craig Mack – Flavour In Ya Ear (Remix) ft Notorious B.I.G., Rampage, LL Cool J & Busta Rhymes
Appearing as an additional version to the original track from Craig Mack this remix is one of my favourite songs to come out of 1994. Featuring on the track are hip hop heavyweights Biggie, Rampage, LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes (before even hearing it just by looking at these names you know its going to be a killer track). Diddy opens the track will a classic reference from the 1979 film The Warriors, then Easy Mo Bee drops one of the dopest beats to come out of any era! Now don’t get me wrong the verses are straight fire on this track but I don’t think it would have the same effect without Mo Bee’s epic raw production. Nonetheless BIG dives straight in with the slickest line of the whole track ‘Niggas is mad I get more butt than ash trays’ what a way to start a track, after that its all in! Whilst Rampage doesn’t let the track down he does have the weakest verse but that’s all forgiven after LL and Busta bring their A game to close out the track. This was real hip hop, straight rugged and raw, they sure as hell don’t make them like this anymore. Relive the classic track below! RIP Notorious B.I.G.
Run-D.M.C – Down With The King
Taking it back to 1993 for this Rewind with Run-D.M.C’ Down With The King, definitely one of my favourite tracks from these legends. Down With The King was the second single from Run-D.M.C’ sixth studio album of the same name, the track peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became the groups second biggest hit next to Walk This Way. Also appearing on this track are hip hop veterans Pete Rock & CL Smooth which is all the more reason why this track is so epic! Pete Rock also provided production. Another reason why I love this track so much is because of the film clip, they definitely don’t make them like that anymore. Its so real and so authentic and features cameos from the likes of Eazy-E, Redman, KRS-One, EPMD, A Tribe Called Quest, Kriss Kross, Onyx, Salt-n-Pepa, Das EFX and Naughty By Nature, I mean how fucking cool is that! Re-live the epic track and video below!
Big L – Put It On
Rewind is taking us back to 1994 with the first ever single from Big L off his amazing debut album Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, I’m talking about the classic track Put It On. Put It On would have to be my favourite track from Big L, while its almost impossible to have a favourite track from L because lets face it everything he released was incredible, there was something about Put It On that has always stuck out. L’s smooth flow and bright energy was something he hadn’t really done before all the other songs on the album were more gangsta and hardcore which will still dope as fuck but Put It On just had that extra spark it was something special. The track also features Kid Capri on the chorus and produced by Buckwild, Put It On will for me always stand out as one of the greatest hip hop tracks ever produced. Rest In Peace Big L !
Beastie Boys – Body Movin
Beastie Boys are definitely one of the most unique hip hop groups of all time, their outrageous style and colourful character made them the most exciting act throughout the 80’s and 90’s. So for this rewind I’m taking it back to 1998 with their krush groovin track Body Movin. Featuring on their fifth studio album Hello Nasty, Body Movin was the second single from the album and easily one of the groups most renowned tracks. Not only was the track good but the video clip was even better. If there was one thing Beastie Boys knew how to do it was music videos. They knew how to have fun and this was evident in clips like Body Movin, you don’t see music like this anymore. Re-live this classic track and video below! God I miss 90’s hip hop! RIP Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch!
Will Smith – So Fresh ft Biz Markie & Slick Rick
Rewinding back to 1999 with the classic track So Fresh from Will Smith’s second solo album Willennium. Willennium was a decent album from Smith reaching number 5 in the Billboard charts competing against Korn’s Issues which made it to number one and Dr. Dre’s classic Dr. Dre 2001 which reached number two. The song features fellow rappers Biz Markie and Slick Rick with DJ Jazzy Jeff on the beat. Such a groovy and mellow tune that showcases Will Smith’s flow at its smoothest. The track uses a sample from Roxanne Shante and Biz Markie’s 1986 song The Def Fresh Crew. Classic 90’s hip hop right here, they certainly don’t make them like this anymore! Enjoy the track below!
Cypress Hill – Hits From The Bong
Considered the stoners anthem Hits From The Bong appeared on Cypress Hill’s sophomore album Black Sunday which was released back in 1993. The track has become one of their trademark hits especially amongst the stoners, what I’m trying to say is, if you smoke weed there’s a good chance you have smoked up to Hits From The Bong. The song was used for Method man and Redman’s classic stoner film How High. The track opens with someone pulling a bong which leads into one of the haziest and mellow beats of the 90’s. B-Real’s casual flow and iconic voice combine with the chilled vibes to create a weed smoking classic.