The first time I ever sat down to make a beat, I dug through a stack of my dad’s records. After getting through the overwhelming amount of traditional irish music, I came across Harry Belafonte’s Calypso album, and was pleasantly surprised when I recognized track 1, “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)”. I came up empty looking for the beat today, but even if I had found it I doubt I would want to share (first beats don’t usually sound like hits). About ten years later the same sample turns up as the fuel to Lil Wayne’s leading track from Tha Carter IV, and his first official single since being released from prison. With no chorus, Weezy attacks the beat with a style that is equally as witty as it is aggressive. Already known as arguably the hardest working and hungriest MC in the game, it seems as if his time away has even further increased Lil’ Wayne’s appetite for success.
Behind the boards on “6 Foot 7 Foot” is the homey Bangladesh, who’s last collaboration with Weezy was the Grammy award-winning “A Milli”, which also featured the young Cory Gunz on the original version. Like “A-Milli”, the new record contains vocal loops, layered with over-driven 808s. This time Bangladesh pulls out Harry Belafonte’s hit song, speeds it up, and gives it his signature treatment. The main loop that the song is named after comes in at the 1:10 mark of “Day-O”. You can watch Bangladesh in action working on the track in this video, which shows the beat being made on his MPC. Six months later Lil’ Wayne is on stage on Saturday Night Live, performing “6 Foot 7 Foot” and tearing down the house… I wonder if Harry was watching.