“What more can I say? I wouldn’t be here today if the old school didn’t pave the way.”
Original hip-hop always seemed to pay respect to those who influenced them. Calling tributes and references to those who came before, the people who they looked up to or the people who were always there along the way. It is interesting — you generally don’t see that in any other genre of music. Influences are usually noted in style rather than a literal call out. Even with so many forms of connection now, there is a growing distance between people and more of an internal focus it seems. But that’s what’s special about the old school hip-hop. They always had time for a call.
An argument was made recently that hip-hop, which used samples from older tracks like doo-wop or classic jazz, was able to bridge that divide that some people first had with the rap. The roughness of it, was once thought of as something that most people couldn’t relate to. But those little snip-its in tracks or a familiar sound backing up even the roughest of vocals, in this case jazz to 2Pac, somehow creates that connection.
This track from 2Pac, remixed by Cookin Soul is a power song. The jazzy beat by Cookin Soul is inspiring. The Spanish DJs have been producing tracks since 2005, but this (and there is also a great one they did with Guru‘s Lifesaver) has to be one of the best productions like this for a hip-hop track. Starting with the horns and punchy percussions, they have somehow made the original jam even sexier.
The verse that comes up around 2:28 is it for me. The opening as well. But at that moment in the track, the vocals are rough. You feel the passion. It is like the original power ballad. And when it seeps in through your headphones, you feel energised.
At this moment, I would like to make a call out to good productions. This is the kind of must that inspires me and keeps me hungry for it. I would rap that if I could.