Author Archives: richiesodapop

Devin the Dude does Rick James, Yelawolf does Devin the Dude

sampling, or more generally, use of other peoples musical creations for your own product has always been a part of hip hop culture and has always been grounds for debate about the artistic merit of certain genres. Nay-sayers will always hate on use of samples and use it as an argument  to poo poo rap music, while those that know will always make the argument for it being tantamount to the evolution of music and a legitimate method of expression. But we’re not here to have that debate, as far as I’m concerned, Stetsasonic put that straight back in ’88 an anyway, more ‘traditional’ musical styles borrow from  each other all the time but nobody gets upset about that.

What caught my attention however is this recent discovery. Basically, these days I have a handful of artists on constant rotation, they are EPMD, Rakim, Evidence, Devin the Dude and Yelawolf. And it is the latter two that make up the point of this post.

Devin sampled Rick James ‘Hollywood’ and really made it his own. Making use of only the initial couple bars before Rick took it on a drastic, coke fuelled, left turn, Devin showcases his singing skills as well as his rapping on this emotion led thumper.

On his awesome “trunk music’ mixtape, Yelawolf not only uses the sample but commits the supposed hip hop faux pas of using Devin’s own melody for the track “Love ain’t enough’. Now biting has never been honourable in hip hop, thing is Yela actually expands on Devin’s concept and makes it truly his own, arguably even making better. This track is by far Yela’s best lyrically, swapping the rapid fire flows for straight up, heart felt story telling that we can all relate to.

The jury’s out as to who’s track is better, props to Devin for the hook amd props to Yelawolf for lyrical content but remember neither, excellent track would be possible without the twisted genius of Rick James.

Devin the Dude – Anythang


Yelawolf – Love is not Enough

I’m out to bomb like Vietnam

Recently, hotasballs linchpin Irish Craig sent me a decidedly dorky yet hella cool, fantasy football style round up of who was the most underrated rapper. Take care to remember that underrated does not mean the best rapper that you never heard of, rather who doesn’t quite reap the props that they deserve. In these days of over hyped, over payed superstars that can’t rap for shit (you know the names, this is a hater free zone) this was no mean feat as many underground, hell even below radar rappers are still afforded heaps of critical acclaim and praise in their own niche fields so exactly how we define underrated ain’t exactly TAB cola if you dig my meaning.

One name that stuck out for me was the top four finalist Tame One.

Now I never ranked Tame as one of my top ten rappers but there was no denying that some of his couplets have really tickled me. Noticeable examples being “High again/with enough smoke to choke a fireman/ last seen with 76 Phillies like Iverson”     (Weathermen: 5 Left in the Clip)

and  “To be perfectly honest/ I’m not really feeling most of you rhymers/ some of you small timers/ just a bunch of vaginas”   (When Rappers Attack)

Both of these tracks were put out in the early 2000’s on Eastern Conference Records and I feel that it was this feeling of him being the token black dude in the white boy rap movement that held him back a bit and led to his becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of this rap shit, never getting any respect.

No doubt Tame was a back pack rapper, a genre that to most critics now seems like a dirty word, but this movement, to my thinking, was one of the most creative and progressive era’s in hip hop history but die hard rap nerds like to pretend that they never liked it because it isn’t macho enough. Well slightly homosexual prejudices aside, Tame One, in his Artifacts days helped pioneer this movement. Back in 94, he and El Da Sensei were like a modern EPMD with their slightly dusted take on hip hop culture that reflected the suburban New Jersey (or as they called it New Jeruzalem) way of living. Hip hop made by hip hop fans for hip hop fans that rejected the faux glamour and sex/ crime cliches that mainstream hip hop was becoming. They rapped about the 4th element of hip hop, graffiti, because that’s how they were living, this was before rappers forgot about the essence of hip hop and graf was adopted by the indie boys.

Check Wrong Side of the Tracks for a real insight in to bombing by people that actually did it rather than get some chump graphic designer to do a graffiti style font on their wack ass logo.

For more graf related music check Big Jus’ “Lune TNS” or “Aerosol” by Oslo’s DJ Tommy Tee which heavily samples wrong side on the tracks. If I ever get the chance to digitise my vinyl I may add these at a later date.

“Grab a can and put your man up and stand up”.

“no cocaine, just life”….

…..and no point, just a garbled pile of nonsense, the likes of which I haven’t heard since the age of 14 when I used to drink Super strength lager with tramps.

The quote in the title line is sampled from the latest words of wisdom from Chicago’s second most overrated icon; Kanye West, you know, the guy that made a concept album about the 808 and yet somehow managed to make it be shit. Mr West considered this point to be so profound that he wrote it twice, in all caps, in fact the entire rant was written in all caps it really is that vital. Hotasballs would like to state that is now official: Kanye West is a prize pillock.

From what I gather he is getting at the fact that he has had a lot of unkind words said about him in the media as of late, however he fails to address that this is entirely his own doing, he then attempts to galvanise his (non) point by comparing himself to Michael Jackson, ancient kings of Africa and some bollocks about women that can pick up cars.

He also seems to have some sort of dig at fashion media, come on son, we all know that you owe a massive amount of your success to the fashion press. ‘Ye needs to eat a little humble pie, stop running his mouth and just make a good album if he want to silence his critics. I really thought he might be moving in the right direction when I saw him in this Spike Jonze directed short ‘We Were Once A Fairytale’ where he shows that he’s not afraid to send himself up. That is unless it wasn’t scripted and Jonze shot this shit ‘Bowfinger’ style.

The original post:

“WHEN IT’S ALL SAID AND DONE, REMEMBER THE FEARLESS, REMEMBER THE DREAMERS, REMEMBER THOSE WHO REPRESENT THE GHETTO…THE FAIRY TALE OF NOTHING TO SOMETHING. I’M BRIEFLY SADDENED BY NEGATIVE COMMENTS, BUT I HAVE TO REMEMBER THOSE PEOPLE ARE SCARED, INCAPABLE OR JUST PLAIN IDIOTS. WE ARE THE FUCKING ROCK STARS BABY. NO COCAINE, JUST LIFE MY NIGGAS!! NO COCAINE, JUST LIFE! IT’S FUNNY TO ME WHEN FASHION BLOGGERS DOWN OUR OUFITS AND THEN SUPER JOCK OUTLANDISH SHIT ON THE RUNWAY BUT THEN THEY DRESS MAD PRUDE AND DON’T LIVE FASHION. WE LIVE IT MAN. FUCK THAT, WE LIVE IT!!! WE LIVE IT SO HARD PEOPLE LIVE THROUGH US! WE REPRESENT YOUR INNER SPIRIT!! THE CHILD IN US ALL, THE BRUTAL HONESTY, THE NAIVETY, THE BRAVE WARRIOR, THE ADRENALINE THAT ALLOWS A MOTHER TO LIFT A CAR IF HER CHILD WAS TRAPPED UNDER IT! REMEMBER, THERE WAS A TIME WHEN EVERYBODY DISSED MICHAEL JACKSON EVERY CHANCE THEY COULD. IMAGINE THE PRESSURE OF BEING A TRUE ICON. VERY FEW HUMAN BEINGS ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO TAKE CONSTANT HATE!!! IF WE DON’T DO WHAT YOU FEEL IS THE SHIT, YOU BEAT US UP VERBALLY AND MENTALLY, LIKE A CATHOLIC SCHOOL TEACHER BEATING A CREATIVE STUDENT INTO SUBMISSION. I CAN HEAR YOU SCREAMING ‘COLOR INSIDE THE LINES!!!’ WELL FUCK YOUR COLORING BOOK, COLOR BY NUMBERS APPROACH TO LIFE. AT THE END OF THE DAY WHO ARE WE HURTING??? OH “THE NEW BLACK???” SINCE BARACK IS PRESIDENT BLACKS DON’T LIKE FUR COATS, RED LEATHER, AND FRIED CHICKEN ANY MORE?! WHEN YOU TRULY UNDERSTAND CULTURAL SETTINGS, BOUNDARIES, AND OUR MODERN DAY CASTE SYSTEMS, THEN YOU CAN FEEL THE GLORY AND PAIN FROM THE DAYS OF KINGS IN AFRICA TO THE NEW KINGS OF THE MEDIA. LET THE BALL PLAYERS DANCE AFTER THEY SCORE! IT’S LIFE MY NIGGAS, IT’S LIFE! REMEMBER CLOTHING IS A CHOICE. WE WERE BORN NAKED!!! FRESH IS AN OPINION, LOVE IS OBJECTIVE, TASTE IS SELECTIVE, AND EXPRESSION IS MY FAVORITE ELECTIVE. NO MORE POLITICS OR APOLOGIES!!!”

Def Jux R.I.P.

Word on the street is that indie rap label Definitive Jux has gone the way of Rawkus, Guesswhyld etc  and has folded.

At press time this is still just a rumour and I hope that it is not true, but if it is true, let’s take this moment to remember some of their hottest moments and pour a little liquor out, if it’s not true, let’s take this opportunity to appreciate decent, independent hip hop while we still have it.

RIP Apache

Just heard that Apache has died, don’t know any details yet but we at the balls would like to pour a little Heineken for the Jersey boy.

Gangsta Bitch, dope song, had a dope video which I can’t find but this will have to do.

Teddy Pendergrass Love TKO/ Ahmad back in the Day

another classic case of discovering a fantastic record off the back of the rap track that sampled it.

I love both of these songs as they both remind me of summer days of my teenage years, dossing about in Southampton in a xxxl NJ Devils jersey. (Sorry, no pictures exist).

RIP Teddy, they don’t make ’em like they used to.

Everybody loves sampling Everybody loves the sunshine

So reminiscing over some 90s rap tapes I remembered that Funkdoobiest actually made a pretty decent song ‘Dedeicated’, it all came flooding back as this was the first time I’d heard the Roy Ayers track being sampled but noticed over that period that the same riff was used in quite a few tracks, here are some of the results:

Funkdoobiest:

E Rule:

Masta Ace

and plenty of other also rans but can’t fool with the original:

The Slew, making turntables interesting again

In a time when it seems that all the coolest music comes out of Montreal, Eric Han aka Kid Koala, aka the Asian Boris Johnson has cemented that notion by pulling off the seemingly impossible, fusing turntables with live bass and drums,  without sounding wack.

In honesty this sort of thing has been done credibly before, mostly around the San Francisco area in the mid 90’s, examples that spring to mind are DJ Disk’s outings with Primus, DJ Q with Live Human, Space Traveller DJ Marz as well as the likes of Z-Trip and Radar and Mr Dibbs all creating peculiar melds of musical styles but not until now has it been done so coherently, so rocking and so accessible, please rest assured, this sounds nothing like Linkin Park or any other crappy rock band with a token scratch dj (Incubus, Lost Prophets etc) in this set up the turntables provide the lead while the bass and drums supply a dirty, low down rhythm section.

Kid Koala and Dynomite D teamed up with former Wolfmother bassist Chris Ross and drummer Myles Heskett to create curious, heavy music for skaters.

Here are some of the results: