New, Old, Undiscovered or World Renowned, The Five Records You Can Always Turn To
Continuing the series of music articles in which individuals select their own personal choices particularly special to them, we today feature Pete Marriott and present the latest installment of Tuck Magazine’s ‘The Greatest Beats of Your Heart’.
Known as one of the underground music scene’s most innovative and creative record producers, Marriott has worked with The Boogie Boys, Chubb Rock, Special Ed, Jam Master Jay, Ari Up, Jungle Brothers, Choice MC’s, Full Force, Cheryl “Pesii” Riley, Ex-Girlfriend and 7669.
His musical skills surpass production and include composer, sound designer, mix engineer and Award-Winning Radio Mix Show DJ. His reputation and experience have exemplified his passion for music and has been categorised as “ahead of his time”.
Currently working out of his Seattle based studio, The Tool Shed, Marriott released the first installation of his legacy album trilogy, #REALHIPHOP in March 2014. #REALHIPHOP is a concept album featuring vocals recorded as far back as 1987 up to 2014. The album features artists including Mr. Man (Da’ Bush Babees), Jazz (from Whistle), Junclassic (Monsta Island Czars), and Jermiside among other popularly known underground vocalists.
Here are Pete’s selections:
1. Chubb Rock with Howie Tee – And The Winner Is (1989) Select Records
Howie Tee is the very first producer in Hip Hop to sample and it wasn’t an accident on his behalf but a calculated move that he knew would inspire a culture within a culture. To this day many beatmakers and producers practice the concept that Howie brought forth to recycle or shall I say create something new out of something old. The beauty of sampling is that it makes you learn where the original source came from and converts an unlikely listener into a fan.
Chubb Rock also delivers the goods on this one because he broke the ice on a then politicized issue within the music industry, that of the Grammy’s voting committee refusing to recognize Hip Hop. Back then Hip Hop was sort of seen as the unwanted bastard step-child with the cooties that none of the shallow closed minded kids in class wanted to be near.
Chubb’s intellect and humor went into full on attack mode as he lyrically took down the Grammy’s snobbery and put it on full display while at the same time saluting his contemporaries. In true Hip Hop form, this record cleverly made the listener think without having to nudge the listener into doing so.
2. Eric B & Rakim – My Melody (Marley Marl Remix) (1987) (4th & Broadway)
Marley Marl is the 2nd producer in Hip Hop to sample. Many people believe he was the first because he was the DJ for Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack, a popular radio mix show that was recorded on cassette by many and then dubbed and snail mailed to their cousins and friends all over the world. Before the internet existed, people have always shared music….just at a slower pace.
As you’ll hear here Marley took what Howie Tee started to another level creating a juxtaposed off-kilter drum rhythm that syncs perfectly with Rakim’s poetically jazzy rhyme cadence.
Back in the 80’s when this record was first premiered on WBLS on Friday night, everyone I knew was either talking about or playing their cassette recording of it on Saturday and still excited about it on Monday when we were back in school.
This was our water-cooler moment it was a great record that just blew our minds because of the sound, the way that it felt, Rakim’s words really speaking to us. It was just one of those truly inspiring moments in Hip Hop culture you had to experience to understand.
3. Busta Rhymes – Everything Remains Raw (1996) Elektra
Easy Mo Bee is another pioneer in the art of sampling and he’s the Father of the flip which is where you take a sample and mangle it to death in a blender to create sonic beauty.
This record is just one of those incredible fearless experiments that went very right. It’s a hard hitting exploration of a dark mellow sound that is both rock steady and full of explosive energy at the same time.
Busta Rhymes’ powerful booming performance is also outstanding as he brings his special brand of in-your-face battle tested lyrical comedy to your ears. It’s his vocal genius and intelligent wordplay that invokes lots of “Oh snap” moments throughout the song as you listen closely to what he’s saying.
4. A Tribe Called Quest – Lyrics To Go (1993) Jive Records
Q-Tip has always been and continues to be one of Hip Hop’s very best producers and this classic record is evident of this worldwide known fact.
From the buoyant drum beat which fits hand in glove with the whimsical rhyme style, to the ironic jazz chords that runs contrast to the operatic vocal phrase, to the psychedelic bluesy rock guitar, to steady snare scratches; this record just feels good from beginning to end.
Phife Dawg & Q-Tip’s lyricism is certainly on point as they don’t miss a beat with nods to the Zulu Nation and traded barbs towards each other in a friendly battle of wits. If you ever watched the documentary “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest” you’d understand the tension and honesty within this song even more…..
5. Common – Dooinit (1999) MCA Records
J. Dilla was the very best sample technician in the universe and this record is the proof of his legendary skill set. Single highhandedly he crafts a tight funky feel good jazz groove that will break your neck if you’re not careful from continuous head nodding.
Common takes ownership of the microphone like we’ve never heard before on this joint as he lets his frustration with the industry and how the subject matter in Hip Hop was changing from social consciousness to thuggery, materialism and opulence off his chest in a most brilliant manner.
This record is a once in a lifetime moment you must experience!
Music in Tuck Magazine: http://tuckmagazine.com/category/music-and-film/
The Greatest Beats Of Your Heart: http://tuckmagazine.com/2015/03/11/the-greatest-beats-of-your-heart/
My latest art concept album is called #REALHIPHOP and I made it as a challenge to artists to return to our roots of making intelligent lyricism and creative wordplay the foreplay of the music again…. I hope you enjoy it for what it is.