Kanye West Curtis Mayfield Sample Moment on #MusicMonday

Curtis Mayfield Kanye West

Recently I was enjoying some funk & soul classics when Curtis Mayfield inevitably came up.

The former lead singer of The Impressions is known for a number of hits, with the group and as a solo artist, but there’s one song that even those unfamiliar with Curtis Mayfield have probably heard before.

Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up

The prominent horns from Move On Up were sampled by Kanye West for his 2006 single Touch the Sky, which also features a radio debut by rapper Lupe Fiasco.

Mayfield is truly one of the greats, a pioneer in funk/soul and socially conscious R&B. He’s a double inductee into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; inducted as a member of The Impressions in 1991, and again in 1999 as a solo artist.

Kanye is known for sampling his fair share of soul records in his earlier production days, so even though Touch the Sky was produced by Just Blaze it’s no surprise to hear this classic melody on a Mr. West track.

Kanye West ft Lupe Fiasco – Touch the Sky

What’s your favourite Kanye West sample? Whether it’s from one of his own songs or something he produced for another artist, let me know in the comments below!

Percee P Lung Collapsing on #MusicMonday

My first introduction to Percee P came while I was getting to know various songs by Lord Finesse. One of those songs is more of a battle, where Lord Finesse goes verse for verse with Percee P over the classic James Brown Funky Drummer sample.

I was immediately enamoured with the nasty flow and clever lyricism on display, and from that day forward whenever I saw one of their names on a track that I was unfamiliar with, I made sure to give it a listen.

So you better believe that recently when I spotted the new-to-me song Percee P ft Pharoahe Monch – Lung Collapsing in the Related Videos sidebar on YouTube, that I clicked on it with the force of a thousand air flares!

My only disappointment is that Pharoahe Monch doesn’t have an actual verse (he only does the intro), but otherwise this track delivers just what I wanted: a classic early 90s beat with Percee P slinging metaphors with astonishing flow and pace.

Percee P and DJ Ekim – Lung Collapsing [lyrics]

For those who like to know the story behind the music, here’s a short interview where (description from YouTube):

Percee P talks about being on Big Beat Records in 1992.. Mentions Now They Wanna See Me, Lung Collapsing Lyrics, Putting Heads to Bed release.. Yes You May.. Stretch & Bobbito.. T Ray… Lord Finesse.. Big L.. Pharaohe Monch.. DJ Eclipse.. Tells story about being with Akinyele and Nas and recording with MC Serch “Here it Comes Again” and a Unreleased version of “Back to The Grill”.

Check back next week for more #MusicMonday goodness! Feel free to share your recommendations with us too!

Jimmy Fallon celebrates hip hop dance and rap

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has been celebrating Black History Month with some fun videos! This week two hip hop elements, dancing and rapping, caught my attention.

First there was Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing (w/Jimmy Fallon & Will Smith), where Jimmy and Will Smith take us through the history of hip-hop dances. You can spot a number of old school hip hop moves plus a toprock “cameo” of sorts during the move “the I’m About the Breakdance”.


Two days later I came across the very well edited video Brian Williams Raps “Rapper’s Delight”. In it I watched NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams rap The Sugar Hill Gang classic Rapper’s Delight — and, yes, he brought two friends along.

[This video is private.]

Did you like the fun hiphop dance and classic rap videos? Which one is your favourite?

Personally I’m a fan of Will Smith and love to dance, but the Rapper’s Delight clip was so well done I think it’s my fave!

Free Mixtape from Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip (The Abstract and The Dragon)

Last week Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest fame and Busta Rhymes released a collaborative mixtape which is appropriately titled The Abstract and the Dragon. You can enjoy the smooth, boom bap sounds right here or download it for free on their website www.theabstractandthedragon.com.

It’s good to hear some of that Native Tongues Posse sound again! The Abstract and The Dragon album is filled with classics from over the past 20+ years, but don’t worry, there’s also some remixes and new collaborations.

Executive production was handled by Shaheem Reid and there are guest appearances by Redman, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Raekwon, Big Daddy Kane, Missy Elliot, Leaders of the New School, and Talib Kweli on the classic J Dilla track Lightworks.

Be on the look out for new music from Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip as both are due to release solo albums in 2014. Busta is releasing on E.L.E.2 (Extinction Level Event 2) and Q-Tip is working on The Last Zulu.

Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – The Abstract and The Dragon (Tracklisting):

1. Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – Intro
2. A Tribe Called Quest Feat. Busta Rhymes – God Lives Through
3. Q-Tip Feat. Busta Rhymes – Gettin’ Up (DJ Scratch Remix)
4. A Tribe Called Quest Feat. Busta Rhymes & Redman – Steppin’ It Up
5. Busta Rhymes Feat. Q-Tip, Lil Wayne & Kanye West – Thank You (Kid Capri Remix)
6. Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – Always Add On (Interlude)
7. Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – The Abstract & The Dragon
8. A Tribe Called Quest Feat. Busta Rhymes – Wild Hot
9. Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – Speaks (Skit)
10. A Tribe Called Quest Feat. Busta Rhymes – One Two Shit
11. Bust Rhymes & Q-Tip – We Taking Off
12. Q-Tip Feat. Busta Rhymes, Raekwon & Lil Wayne – Renaissance Rap (Remix)
13. Q-Tip Feat. Busta Rhymes – Get Down
14. Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – Butch & Sundance
15. Shaheem Reid – Speaks (Skit)
16. Busta Rhymes – Pardon My Ways (ELE 2 Exclusive)
17. Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming (Skit)
18. Busta Rhymes Feat. Q-Tip – For The Nasty
19. Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – Come On Down (Skit)
20. Big Daddy Kane Feat. Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – Come On Down
21. Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – J Dilla (Skit)
22. Busta Rhymes Feat. Q-Tip – You Can’t Hold The Torch
23. Busta Rhymes Feat. Q-Tip & Talib Kweli – Lightworks
24. Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – Chris Lighty (Skit)
25. Q-Tip Feat. Busta Rhymes & Missy Elliott – Vivrant Thing
26. Busta Rhymes Feat. Q-Tip – Ill Vibe
27. A Tribe Called Quest Feat. Leaders Of The New School – Scenario
28. A Tribe Called Quest Feat. Hood & Leaders Of The New School – Scenario (Remix)

Shad feat Lights – Remember to Remember Music Video

This week London rapper Shad released another single from his latest album, Flying Colours (No, Mr. Spellcheck, I’m spelling that the Canadian way!), and it comes with a music video ft Lights which you can watch below.

Shad feat Lights – Remember to Remember
(unofficial epilepsy warning starting around 2:40)

Parts of the video remind me of The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army video, with multiple Shads walking towards the camera, which is cool, but there should probably be an epilepsy warning around 2:40 where there’s a bit of a dance sequence that’s hard to make out because of all the flashing… lights… But it’s all good!

Shad has been active since 2005 and is known for being a breath of fresh air in a rap music scene filled with redundancy and ignorance. His Flying Colours album continues this pattern of engaging lyrics and slick flow over crisp production. Remember to Remember features fellow Canadian musician Lights, which makes for a great collaboration. Throw in production from Mike Tompkins and the video direction of Justin Broadbent and you have yourself another quality rap track to play back, most likely “again and again“!

Here’s the word from Shad K’s FB page:

Special thanks to MuchFACT for the support, Justin Broadbent for the directional excellence, LIGHTS and Mike Tompkins for their work on the track!

Yesterday Mass Appeal posted an episode of Off Tha’ Wall which contained an interview where Shad talks about a death row meal, Flying Colours, and dream studio sessions:


For more goodness from the homie Shad you can buy the album on iTunes or check out some his recent collab with DJ Skratch Bastid called The Spring Up. Lastly, here’s another music video from Flying Colours called Stylin feat Saukrates:

Shad – Stylin (featuring Saukrates)