Next up in our “Gotta’ Be The Beats” series is a cat who’s site Wake Your Daughter Up not only was one of the first “blogs” (this was during the time frame when I thought that your only downloading options where Limewire & Soulseek..thank sweet Jesus for “bloggin’!!) that I ever stumbled into, ut I’d also go as far as to say that it’s partially responsible for the evolution of “When They Reminisce…”. With infinite knowledge of the music we love and tongue in cheek humor, Travis (that’s him on the right..sorry Trav, I had to post that pic….Classic!) as we all simply know him by, has captured such a wide audience of loyal readers mostly due to his honest, straightforward writing and archives full of rare and not so rare old school goodies…..but what I really like about Trav is that he transformed WakeYourDaughter up from more than just a nice spot where you can pick up a few albums free of charge, into well…….a spot where you witness the everyday struggle’s of a man following his dream and conquering all the obstacles that may deter his progress. From my personal standpoint, I’d say that Trav and I are share not only the same writing skills and humor but most importantly we both cherish the music that has gifted us the soundtrack of our lives….Hip Hop. I’ve never met any of the blog authors whose sites I check on my daily rounds, but Trav would half to be up there on my list of “bloggers” to meet….from what I’ve gathered from his heartfelt posts regarding his family life, everyday work and the general state of the music….. he & I would have alot in common and we share some of the same viewpoints. Shit, If I could only get him too like Uncut Raw’s “First Toke” and I could begin to see what all the commotion is about with Storm Davis’ “Kegstand Poetry”. Damn, too bad my wife’s sister isn’t on the market!!!HaHa! Seriously, no bullshit….Trav’s one cool ass MoFo who’s really aided in the progress of this site and I was pretty damn honored when he featured a “rookie” as his first pitch in his “Interview With A Blogger” series. So here they are folks Trav’s “Top 25 Beats Of All Time”! Next up, well….I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve but my list will definitely be last (read: buying myself a little more time to be sure)
Trav’s (Wake Your Daughter Up) Top 25 Beats (link up shortly)
From Travis: “As much as Hip Hop is a MC spitting on the microphone, Hip Hop for me has always been about the beats. If the beats suck, its going to have to take a pretty special MC to keep me listening. When Eric asked me to forge some kind of list of my all-time favorite beats, I figured it wouldn’t take me longer than a half-hour or an hour tops. I spent four hours compiling a list and agonizing over which songs weren’t going to make the final cut. Thanks E, thats four hours of my life I will never get back, haha….
I have some weird tastes when it comes to beats. I don’t always go for the traditional soulful sound. I like noise, weird sounds and heavy bass. The noisier, the better. To me, it’s creativity that is important. With that said, some of my favorite producers did not make this list. Producers such as the Bomb Squad (although there is a “step child” of them on this list) and J-Zone didn’t make the list. No 9th Wonder, Erick Sermon or Frankenstein, all personal favorites of mine did not make the list. Instead there are a few “out of left field” type submissions, people who’s names you never hear come up on a “best producer” of all-time debate. Regardless, these are all beats that I get those “goosebumps” when I hear. “
25. ADOR – “Let It All Hang Out Remix” (Pete Rock) – Travis Said: I expected more Pete beats on this list, but this is one of two. Its a killer track with a sax sample that is only second to one other sax sampled beat…and we all know what that is
24. Sadat X – Lump Lump (Buckwild) – I still remember the first I heard this joint, I played it over and over again. It’s pretty simple, but the underrated Buckwild sets things off right with the keys that make you nod your heard worse than a “yes man” talking to his boss. The drum track should be taught to all new jacks on how drum tracks should sound like.
23. Xzibit – Paparazzi (Thayod) – Produced by a rather unnoticed west coast producer, Thayod, this track makes me realize just how much I love dope strings in a beat. This was my first introduction to Xzibit, I bought the maxi single before the album dropped and probably played the instrumental version as much as the full track.
22. Nine – Whatcha Want (Rob Lewis) – If a Martian flew down and wanted to know what “jeep music” was, I’d play this track for him. First off, you got a drum track that kicks you upside your head, then you got those lushes, beautiful strings. For the first six months after it came out, I would close my eyes and nod along with the beat and direct the strings with my hands. Made for interesting times driving.
21. Divine Styler – Ain’t Sayin’ Nothin’ (Bilal Bashir) – Time for one of my “non traditional” beats. I’ll wait for the head scratching to stop…..Okay, like I said, I like beats with weird ass noises and what is more weird than a beat with a sound that sounds like Prince is getting his nuts pulled off by a long rope attached to a speeding car? I’m pretty sure this beat influenced DJ Muggs back in the day, because the s/t debut Cypress album beats all sound like this. Bilal Bashir was an early west coast producer who I don’t think got nearly enough credit with his beats he did for Divine Stylers debut album, Everlast’s debut album, or the stuff he did with Justin Warfield.
20. Cunninlynguists – Seasons (RJD2) – I don’t understand a lot of the fan boy stuff with certain producers and RJD2 happens be one of those, but damn, he created a classic with this joint. I guess its safe to say that I’m a string guy. Put on some dope strings like this and you have me hooked.
19. Diamond – Hiatus remix (Diamond) – Diamond is a dope producer in his own right and I have a shit load of songs from him I wanted to get on here, but just couldn’t do it. More strings, I can just close my eyes and think about floating on the clouds high above the earth….oh shit, did I just type that out?
18. Royal Flush – Worldwide (L.E.S.) – I first heard this joint on a radio show in Salt Lake City of all places. I was blown away by the
beat. Lucky for me, I had the tape recording that night. It’s got all the ingredients I want in a beat. A hard drum track, cool strings and some weird ass sounds. That violin loop just makes me want to break out my butcher knife and reenact the famous Hitchcock “Pyscho” scene. Just plain fucking dope.
17. O.C. – It’s My World (DJ Premier) – The first of many Primo beats, who is my favorite producer of all-time, as you’ll soon see. I almost made a list just for the Primo joints just so it was fair for everyone else and I could get some of my other all-time favorite beats, but that was too much work. I tend to focus on one sound too much sometimes, and the synth sound on here just hooks me everytime…and of course your traditional hard Primo drums helps as well.
16. Brand Nubian – Alladat (Buckwild) – I think this was the first joint that brought Buckwild to my attention. This is a traditional sounding DITC beat. It’s just a dusty ass beat that screams DITC. Shit got played more times than Cal Ripken.
15. Above The Law – Murder Rap (Dr. Dre & Laylaw) – More of my noisy ass beats. This track grabbed me immediately. That siren is just ill as fuck then of course throw on some reversed basslines and scratches, shit just sounds like soundtrack for a drive-by. There is some argument on who did the production for this album. Dre is listed along with the group and Laylaw. This doesn’t really sound like anything Dre has done, except maybe the drum track.
14. Blahzay Blahzay – Danger (PF Cuttin) – This has to be one of those beats you hear at every concert when the DJ is warming up the crowd. It’s just one of those traditional hip hop beats that is easily recognizable. I’m also a fan of using voice as an instrument or a sample on a track, such as this one has.
13. Nas – NY State Of Mind (DJ Premier) – What an excellent way to start off a classic album. This beat is just sick, keys like this are just insane
12. Pharcyde – Runnin’ (Jay Dee) – I remember hearing this joint on “Yo!” before the album dropped. We couldn’t figure out who did the production. It wasn’t Diamond D, who we had heard rumors of him producing tracks for the new Pharcyde joint. It wasn’t him. It wasn’t J-Swift. I bought the CD when it came out and the first thing I would do with a new CD was read the liner notes. I opened it and saw “Produced by Jay Dee” in the notes. I wasn’t even sure who this “Jay Dee” dude was but that key sample is incredible.Threw the CD on in my Jimmy with my “boomin’ system” and shit you never heard out of the TV speakers popped up. Those drums? I looked at my friend, who happened to be with me, “Fuck man, those drums are vicious”. “Who the fuck is this Jay Dee dude?” I asked him. “I don’t know man” he would reply back to me, “but this track is incredible.” The bassline was something that had to be heard on a good system, because it had bottom. We just drove around, playing this track over and over again. I miss moments like this.
11. Notorious BIG – Unbelievable (DJ Premier) – One of the things I have always liked about Primo is he brought out the best in the artists he works with. Jeru hasn’t done shit since Primo bailed. Nas’ best joints have been the Primo joints. Jay sounds incredible over Primo production, shit he even made J-Live’s sound somewhat interesting. Biggie was no exception. Just a straight up hip-hop beat with a dope drum track and let the big guy get loose.
10. Camp Lo – Luchini (Ski) – I’ve always been a Ski fan as well, from his early days with Bizzie Boys, to Original Flavor, to his stuff with Jay and Camp Lo. The dude just has this creative side to him that makes him stand out against other producers. You know a Ski beat (most of the time) when you hear it. The horns make this track and they make it one of those classics in hip hop.
9. Nas – The Message (Trackmasterz) – I have to admit, hip hop isn’t really good for conjuring up emotions other than excitement. This beat though, always has had a strong effect on me emotionally, one of somberness. The strings are great and the bassline just serves as an important backbone to the whole thing. Great beat.
8. Public Enemy – Lost At Birth (The Imperial Grand Ministers Of Funk) – I’m sure this will cause a few people to scratch their head to this bonafied “intro” for “Apocalypse 91..” but this shit just gets me pumped. If I was a UFC fighter, this shit would be my entrance music.
7. Notorious BIG – Kick In The Door (DJ Premier) – Biggie and Primo again. This shit has made me kick in many a door.
6. Nas – Nas Is Like (DJ Premier) – Arrgghhhhh…..I hear the intro to this and can’t stop nodding my head. Its just a natural reaction, like when someone is going to punch you in your mouth, you automatically try to cover up….its the some with this beat. Then you add the strings and the little swirling key sample behind that and you have pure bliss. Primo is da fucking Gawd!!!
5. Ras Kass – Soul On Ice Remix (Diamond D) – Has one beat ever improved a song as much as this one? The keys and those strings come together to form some old apocalyptic shit that sounds like the end of the world is just seconds away.
4. Gang Starr – Speak Ya Clout (The beat Jeru is on) (DJ Premier) – Yeah, I know, how the fuck can a beat that is only on for one verse make my top 5? This is Primo doing my favorite type of beat, weird ass fucking noises and those drums…they are SICK!!! This should be the theme song for hip hop itself.
3. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – TROY (Pete Rock) – This song is probably responsible for my interest in sample sources. It’s possibly one of the greatest samples ever. The listener automatically is swept away on those crazy horns. Amazing stuff.
2. Royce Da 5’9 – Boom (DJ Premier) – The best of all the string beats, this shit is just bananas in my humble little opinion. Once again, Primo brings out the best in an artist as Royce sounds like one of the GOAT’s. I was in awe the first time I heard this. I played it over and over and over again.
1. Jeru The Damaja – Come Clean (DJ Premier) – I remember reading about this joint in “The Source” in the “Sure Shot Singles” part and they said it sounded like “Chinese Water Torture”. I think thats a perfect description of this beat. Once again some strange sounds that has always inspired wonder and awe in how he created something like this. I heard a story about how he made the sound in this, but I can’t remember it, but it was something rather creative.