B.T. Express was among a group of classic funk and soul artists used to create DMX’s debut album It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, somewhat of a rap masterpiece. Listening through beginning to end you hear aggressive beats matched with vivid accounts of street life in Yonkers, New York. The raw nature of the album both in sound and content has yet to be matched in the years since it’s release. On another end of the musical spectrum is B.T. Express’ album Do It Till Your Satisfied, which is one of the most sampled projects in hip hop, with almost every track being used at some point in time. The title track, which was the group’s biggest hit, contains a funky break that can be heard in at least 10 tracks spanning from Bobby “Bobcat” Ervin’s “Do It” in 1989 to most recently Ne-Yo’s 2010 hit “One In a Million”. That means royalty checks coming in for the last 20 years from a few groovy bars of music; I dig it.
The producers involved in It’s Dark and Hell is Hot all brought forth their distinct styles to the project. Dame Grease, who handled the majority of the beats, often used fairly small and simple chops to create a very dark backdrop for X to rap to. For “Get At Me Dog” Grease pitched down the opening measure of B.T. Express’ “Everything Good To You”, which slowed down takes on a whole different feeling. For most of the record the sample is a continuously loop, but at certain parts Grease triggers the chop more rapidly to intensify the feel. This street single was a big statement during a time of shiny suits and money rap. Big Sheek Louch on the intro and the hook adding even more toughness to the track, plus enough growls and barks to scare off the competition.