Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Smokey Robinson et CNN

I certainly chose a bad time to stay in last night, as Capone and Noreaga both stopped by CV Lounge where Scram Jones holds it down every friday, and where you can usually find me as well.  My dude Incredible Cutts was there too, CNN’s official DJ and also one of the most genuine dudes I’ve met in this business.  Anyway, with The War Report 2 coming out in a few weeks (July 13th), I figured I would go back and touch on one of the many samples that helped create the original.  In my mind The War Report is not only a classic album, but also a project that changed the direction of East Coast hip hop when it was released in ’97.  In the years leading up to it’s release, rap had started to get over consumed with surrealistic and mostly fictional mafia tales, known to many as mafioso rap. Capone and Noreaga brought it back to gritty street narratives, and unapologetic stories of drugs and guns.  The beats, the mixes, and the lyrics throughout the album have a rugged feel that won’t ever be matched by any present day project.

If your heart stopped beating, I’ll go back in time.  Make your heart beat again, real niggas ’till the end…”

My favorite record on the album (ok, maybe one of my 3 favorites) is “Live On, Live Long”, which is Noreaga’s dedication to his partner.  Rap records with this level of raw emotion simply can’t be found anymore.  The bulk of the beat is built off of the loop from the beginning of “Who’s Gonna Take The Blame” by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles.  The quarter bar taken from the 0:25 mark is used sometimes at the tail end of the loop, along with the Smokey vocal riff at 1:11.  This record has never lost it’s edge with me, and I don’t think it ever will… it’s just too real.

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – Who’s Gonna Take The Blame

CNN – Live On, Live Long

via Kevin Casey Music