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Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – The O’Jays et 2Pac

When All Eyez on Me came out in 1996, I was in middle school, and was still getting familiar with hip hop as a genre.  For years, all I listened to was the east coast heavy hitters of the time, and it took me a while to really give Pac the proper attention.  I still consider myself underexposed to Pac’s music, which is my own fault.  I guess the growing up in New York thing left me coast-bias deep down. Although it took me a while, I eventually gave All Eyes on Me the attention it deserves, and I understand why it is so highly acclaimed.  It’s not that other rappers don’t touch on the same subjects as Pac, it’s just that they don’t do it nearly as well.  On “Life Goes On,” the subject is losing a close friend, that friend being his lifetime partner Kato.  I listened to this song regularly after my boy DaVaughn died a few years back.

Life as a baller, alcohol and booty calls, we used to do them as adolescents do you recall.

The beat was made by Pac’s long time producer Johnny “J”, who produced a total of ten tracks on the double disc All Eyez on Me. He used various parts and loops of the opening sequence of “Brandy” by The O’Jays to create the basic framework, but elevated the track with live guitar licks and smooth female vocal riffs.  Exactly seven months after the album release, Pac was gunned down.  A few years ago, Johhny “J” died in a Los Angeles prison in an apparent suicide.  With both producer and artist passed away, the music certainly goes on, as this record manages to stand out amongst Pac’s large catalogue of music.

Sample Saturday is brought to you by Kevin Casey Music.

The O’Jays – Brandy

2Pac – Life Goes On