I’ll admit this is a attempt to quickly post something up for the Monday morning start of the week. Most of y’all should know the story behind the Native Tongues, so I’ll just skip right on by the history of one of the greatest collectives of musicians in hip hop history.
Instead, we’ll jump into a couple singles from two of the groups that were major players in the collective, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. If you haven’t caught on yet, you’ll notice that I try to post up singles that are either hard to find or have a remix or two on them. The later is precisely why I’m posting up the singles for Tribe’s “Can I Kick It?” and De La’s “Millie Pulled a Pistol On Santa” b/w “Keepin’ The Faith.” Both singles are packed with remixes and “Can I Kick It?” has a b-side only “If The Papes Come”. Back during the golden age, remixes could be found more often than not on singles, and not these ones that have the same beat but all the hottest MCs on them neither. They were genuine remixes.
A Tribe Called Quest dropped “Can I Kick It?” as the fourth single from People’s Instinctive Travels… It was really the single that got me on the Tribe bandwagon. I thought “Bonita Applebum” and “Left My Wallet In El Segundo” were alright, slightly weird compared to my Big Daddy Kane, Eric B & Rakim, LL Cool J music that I was into at that time. But when I heard the video version for “Can I Kick It?”, I was hooked. That video version is on this single, known as the “Spirit Mix”, appearing on the A-side. It’s really a great track with it’s uptempo beat compared to the LP version, which is good in it’s on right, just a different feeling.
After the edited version of “Can I Kick It?”, another remix shows up as the “Phase 5″ remix, named so after the producer who did the remixing, Phase 5. I don’t know a lot about Phase 5, other than the fact he was an European producer (Germany?) and he did work with the Fu-Schnicks among others. He provides a much more livelier beat for “Can I Kick It?”, giving it almost a life of it’s own. Stuffed with horn stabs and guitar licks, it gives the song a different dimension and look, one that takes some getting used to, but the more I hear this version, the more I like it, just not as much as the “Spirit Mix” or even the LP version.
The B-side only track comes in the form of “If The Papes Come”, which features Baby Bam of the Jungle Brothers on the non “remix” version. The track isn’t obscure by any stretch of the imagination, since it has shown up on countless compilations, movie soundtracks and other various online Tribe projects. A fairly simple song, it utilizes the “Pot Belly” sample that can be found on numerous hip hop songs, most notably for me would be “Driveby Miss Daisy” by Compton’s Most Wanted as well as “Just A Friendly Game of Baseball” by Main Source. It’s basically just Tip running wild over the jazzy beat. It is a track like this though, let’s people peer into the lyrical prowness of Q-Tip. Tip may not be included in the best MCs debate, but dude had flavor on the mic.The “Remix” (and I do use this term loosely) is basically a slight change in the “Pot Belly” sample and the shedding of the Baby Bam verse.
A Tribe Called Quest - Can I Kick It? VLS (Jive/RCA, 1990)
A1 Can I Kick It? (Spirit Mix) (4:11)
A2 Can I Kick It? (Edit) (3:23)
A3 Can I Kick It? (Phase 5 Mix) (4:33)
A4 Spirits (2:02)
B1 If The Papes Come (5:46)
B2 If The Papes Come (Remix) (4:14)
B3 Can I Kick It? (LP Version) (4:11)
The second single is the De La Soul treat, “Millie Pulled a Pistol On Santa” b/w “Keepin’ The Faith”. The remix for “Millie…” is kind of a let down, as they incorporate a rather feeble attempt at putting some singing on the hook. The original is kind of simple, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s an alright remix, but give me the single any time.
This single is more about the “Keepin’ The Faith” track, which on the De La Soul Is Dead album, was one of my “skip” tracks. So when the “Straight Pass” remix kicks in after a retooled “Millie Pulled a Pistol…” remix, it’s a welcomed change. It still keeps some of the original’s elements, but adds more dimension to a track I considered drab before. The next remix, the “UK 12 Mix” is drifts even further from the original. This remix is fueled by a rather nice bass line that runs through out the track. It’s very funky and lively. A nice touch to beef up the track.
The b-side features the instrumentals and the shorten “7″ UK Mix” for “Keepin’ The Faith”.
De La Soul – Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa b/w Keepin’ The Faith (Tommy Boy, 1991)
A1 Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa (Full Mix) (4:04)
A2 Keepin’ The Faith (Straight Pass) (4:33)
A3 Keepin’ The Faith (12” UK Mix) (7:19)
A4 Keepin’ The Faith (No Bass Mix) (4:34)
B1 Keepin’ The Faith (LP Version) (4:45)
B2 Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa (Full Mix Instrumental) (4:02)
B3 Keepin’ The Faith (Straight Pass Instrumental) (4:31)
B4 Keepin’ The Faith (7″ UK Version) (3:48)