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"Never Too Late"…….Rasul's "Top 25 Beats Of All Time"

by Eric on September 13, 2007

Rasul’s “Top 25 Beats Of All Time”

“I know I’m late. Seriously, I know I’m way too late but things have been a little hectic for me and I didn’t find the appropriate time to orchestrate such an outlandish list. It sure deserves some serious and thorough musing and I did want to rise to the barbaric challenge. Outlandish? Barbaric? True indeed… It’s just plain impossible to come up with a list like that and I’m pretty sure all the contributors felt the same way. I just have a couple of quick notes I would like to pass on before I’ll get into it: First of all, to celebrate and shrine the instrumental as a whole is just not right! It’s the MCs that gave life to all these masterpieces; it’s the MCs that ignited moods beyond comprehension somewhere in a dark corner of our souls that made us fall in love with them in the first place. I don’t see anybody posting a beat and saying “I love the track but the rapper is just awful”. Somewhere down the line, these meaningful orchestrations tattooed themselves in our psyche because we loved the entire song. Therefore and with one single exception (an instrumental), my list contains some of my favorite gems of all time that touched me lyrically and musically… Then, I have been collector, a crate-digger if you will, for the longest and my perception of “beats” often changes when I find the original tunes. I have always loved Premo his compositions but I rarely find his techniques of producing endlessly original. Not to say that I don’t enjoy a simple loop but hey, it has to make sense and that’s one of the reasons and to my own surprise as well, you’ll find Pete Rock all over my list. Nevertheless, and I’m writing this on my way to the studio and trust me I don’t have much time left, here’s the darn thing…..start hitting me in the head, will you:

25. Slick Rick-Mistakes Of A Woman In Love With Other Men / Produced by Vance Wright: Simple, eerie, atmospheric and most of all, freaking dope. I love the way Slick and his DJ mastered this mood of sadness and gloom without letting the song sound “dark”. Plus, it’s a one bar loop and it still kills you as a perfect backdrop for Ricky Walters tone and delivery…

24. Geto Boys-My Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me / Produced by Artist: I think I saw that one on someone else’s list but truthfully, this is a no-brainer. Although the way of using Isaac Hayes’ sample is no way near original, the song as a whole makes perfect sense and remains one of the prime examples that simplicity is a virtue…

23. Outkast-Elevators (Me & You) / Produced by Artist: I had to pick something from Outkast ’cause they changed the face of music forever and influenced and inspired so many artists. Beautiful track with a breathtakingly smooth atmosphere; and I love the snare…

22. Common-Dooinit / Produced by Jay Dee: Unfortunately, this is the only offering featuring the late great Dilla. Personally, I think the work Jay Dee submitted to this great album overshadows everything else he’s done so far. Or maybe he didn’t really work on too many albums at all- I don’t know!? Great bass-line, stupid drums and you have to love the keys in the Chorus…

21. Pete Rock & CL Smooth- Straighten It Out / Produced by Pete Rock: Did anybody else mention this on their list? This is the prime example of mashing different records together to “originate” something completely new! From the very first drum-roll to the blaring horn segment, down to the guitar licks, this is simply bliss when it comes to production. I’m not going to discuss each and every sample but trust me, this one’s the truth…

20. Special Ed- I Got It Made / Produced by Howie Tee: I don’t see how this one could not anybody’s list. This one’s a classic and although the 808s may sound dated (or maybe not if you listen to all the records hailing from the south), still very relevant since it’ll blow up some speakers. Very simple but very effective…

19. No I.D. Feat. Dug Infinite- Sky’s The Limit / Produced by No I.D: I know, you didn’t see that one coming. Matter of fact, how many readers still remember that one? Anyway, No I.D’s been always a favorite of mine since his days of “Resurrection” and to this day, everything he puts out is straight out banging. This one’s a timeless masterpiece (and I love the way he chopped up those guitar-licks)…

18. Black Sheep-Similak Child / Produced by Artist: Love the Tom Scott sample, love the freaking dog’s barking, love the gigantic drums, all the little breaks and the whole concept of the song. Plus, it compliments the flows and tones of Dres and it’s masterfully arranged…

17. Eric B. & Rakim- Keep The Beat / Produced by Artist and Large Professor: I just love this beat. It took me some time to actually find the Bobbi Humphrey record (although used by KMD). Matter of fact, I was literally obsessed to find it and those were the days when nobody knew (or never told you) where the original samples were from. So you really had to dig… This record works extremely well around Ra’s vocals and to this day, it translates a phenomenal mood…

16. Jay-Z: Encore / Produced by Kanye West: As much as I hate to admit it, Mr. West is a hell of a producer. The way he flips a reggae classic from John Holt into a jazzy and majestic backdrop for Jay to celebrate a legacy is beyond genius. I don’t want to say anything else since the man is pla

inly mad and I despise him. And I don’t mean mad as angry but as having a psychotic disorder…

15. AZ- Rather Unique / Produced by Pete Rock: Here we go again. I mean really, just listen to the drums and the way they’re patterned under the vibes!? This is one of Pete’s most ingenious bodies of work because it sounds sooo simple but it’s layered with details. Listen to Kane his scratched voice and the way it’s aligned like a horn-set…

14. Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo-Streets Of New York / Produced by Ant Live, Large Professor and Kool G. Rap: This is another no-brainer and yes, it should have had made anyone’s list. I love the sax and the way it soothes the hard drums. A classic…

13. Main Source- Just Hangin‘ Out / Produced by Artist: Had to pick something out of “Breaking Atoms” and this choice came some how easy. This is another great example of how to mould different records, in this case different genres of music, into one collective tune. And trust me, the way they chopped the Gwen McCrae is an ultimate task in itself…

12. Ed O.G. And The Bulldogs-I Got To Have It / Produced by Special K and Teddy Ted: A killer all the way through. If you’ve heard the original tune by Bohannon, you’ll appreciate the beat and its production even more. Huge record…

11. Gangstarr Feat. Inspektah Deck- Above The Clouds / Produced by DJ Premier: I know, I could’ve picked at least 20 other Premo joints. Why this particular records? I have no idea. For some reason this is the one that popped into my head since I love the way Premo sabotaged the original record (which I’ve heard a couple of times but don’t actually own- read: if you have John Dankworth and his Orchestra’s “Two Piece Flower” holler at me)…

10. Downtown Science- Room To Breathe / Produced by Sam Sever: Sam Sever’s always been one of those “best-kept secret” producers. I just love this record and it always gives me chills. Just a great atmosphere…

9. 2Pac-Temptations / Produced by Easy Moe Bee: One of those sentimental picks off one of my favorite records of all time. There’s so much going on in this beat and it still sounds so smooth. Love it…

8. Ghostface Killah- Fish / Produced by True Master: I wished I could’ve come up with something RZA produced- I couldn’t (though “Incarcerated Scarfaces” just missed the top 25). Organic but majestic in its whole weight. A superb jewel…

7. A Tribe Called Quest- God Lives Through: My favorite tune off of one the greatest albums of all time. Once again, I know there were at least 20 other ones to choose from but this joint always reflected the truest essence of ATCQ for me. Beautiful and original…

6. Pete Rock & CL Smooth- Mecca And The Soul Brother: The way the O’Donel Levy sample is incorporated within this grand groove is shocking. Pete at his best…

5. EpMD-So What Cha Saying / Produced by Artist: And top 5 indeed. Can’t realistically have a list without this beat- period. This one still knocks out the best of them and a great example that Parish and Eric didn’t just loop records (much like their first album), but very much threw different stuff together. Just ask B.T. Express…

4. Souls Of Mischief- 93 ‘Till Infinity / Produced By A-Plus: Pretty much speaks for itself and I saw this one on numerous other lists, so…

3. DJ Shadow-Midnight In A perfect World / Produced by DJ Shadow: OK, this is the exception I mentioned earlier. I’m a Hip Hop fan for the longest and if somebody would have told me I would deeply fall in love with an “instrumental”-track, I probably would’ve smacked him silly. I can’t tell you how much this joint embraces and moves me without any words hummed. Just something strange with me and this beat…

2. Nas-Memory Lane (Sittin‘ In The Park) / Produced by DJ Premier: Grandiose! ‘Nuff said…

1. Pete Rock & CL Smooth- T.R.O.Y. / Produced by Pete Rock: I have a couple of good stories that would go along with this joint but I don’t have much time to write. Besides, words could never express the magnitude of this joint…

Ok, I just realized that I’ve left out Dr. Dre completely… What the hell is wrong with me? Barbaric indeed…

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{ 12 comments }

silversoul September 13, 2007 at 11:54 am

the sample to above the clouds. I thought a fellow music junkie should have it. big ups on the blog btw, love the detailed descriptions.

[url]http://www.sendspace.com/file/lp4heu[/url]

Anonymous September 13, 2007 at 3:38 pm

have you heard the sample dj shadow used for midnight in a perfect world? after i heard shadows sample sources i became a lot less inspired at his production, but defintetly still am for his passion for diggin. track is called “The Madness Subsides” by Pekka Pohjola.

Did you also know that NO ID ghostproduced a buncha shit for Jermaine Dupri? ask wikipedia shits crazy…

I like your list, although RZA woulda made mine for “Rainy Dayz” and Diamond D woulda been on there somewhere, who knows, good shit.

SniperInTheMist September 14, 2007 at 1:40 am

big pete rock fan, eh? Me too. Pete Rock would have at least three beats on my top 25 also. As would DJ Premier.

Man, I need to go and think about a list now!!!

Adam, (www.northernauthor.blogspot.com)

Nokizm September 14, 2007 at 2:52 am

Fantastic contribution by Rasul

turtle September 14, 2007 at 3:30 am

I agree Rasul, it is hard to take the lyrics out of the equation and judge the beats only.

Lafayette September 14, 2007 at 10:24 am

Damn, Rasul…once again proving that this is one of the rare blogs actually worth reading! Mad props!

/Lafayette

PD September 14, 2007 at 3:44 pm

kudos for even making a list…so tough to actually rank them

also, according to erick sermon at rock the bells, ‘so what cha saying’ is his favourite beat that he ever made

rasul September 14, 2007 at 9:29 pm

Hey Silver, thanks very much for the link and the song- it’s highly appreciated… As to Shadow’s Pekka Pohjola, yes brother, I have the track but I tend to disagree with you that it’s not done insightful or anything. I know he just looped the basics but everything else he’s added, especially the Marlena Shaw vocals, makes it a magnificant effort…

Well, the list blows anyway since I’ve remembered at least 596 other joints I should have mentioned:)

But thanks everybody for the comments.

1.

Billy Dee Chilliams September 15, 2007 at 12:10 am

good shit. more than the other top 25′s this list definitely is in line with my tastes. love that you threw in main source’s just hangin out and black sheep’s similak child. and yes, coming from an east coast educated west coast head, you definitely need some dr. dre!

rapluva November 28, 2007 at 11:49 pm

yo, seriously, this top 25 business is whack. I mean there are hundreds of the greatest beats ever made. That said, I think half the things mentioned in yo top 25 arent even in my radar of aiight beats.

Where is Just Blaze?
Rza?
Preemo?
Dre?

The real weight is the best beat on that NO ID album.

The Preemo beat is the best beat on that comm album

There are so many better Tribe beats.

Not to diss. I just think your taste is whack…

rapluva November 28, 2007 at 11:51 pm

no alchemist? are you kidding me?

rafael December 21, 2007 at 11:50 am

Geto boys-

way too low.

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