Tag Archives: DJ Shadow

Droppin’ Science: Greatest Samples from the Blue Note Lab

Like most hip-hop heads, I always love to find the source material of a particularly dope beat, and in that vein, Blue Note’s Droppin’ Science: Greatest Samples from the Blue Note Labis a rewarding compilation. Containing the original material for elements of songs from acts like A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, Dr. Dre, DJ Shadow, Madlib, and many others, the album is an amateur (or armchair) DJ’s wet dream. In addition, many of the songs are restored or remastered versions, making the collection appealing to jazz aficionados as well.

Highlights: Davids Axelrod’s and Mccallum’s “The Edge,” as featured in Dr. Dre’s “Next Episode,” Jeremy Steig’s “Howling for Judy,” as featured in Beastie Boys’ “Sure Shot,” and Grant Green’s “Down Here on the Ground,” used in ATCQ’s “Vibes and Stuff.”

Bottom line: If you have listened to hip-hop in the last twenty years, you’re bound to appreciate at least 5 songs on this album. B+

Blue Note
Amazon

RHYMESKI!

The video below is “Mutescreamer” by Beans, an emcee formerly of the underground rap group Antipop Consortium. The track is featured in DJ Shadow‘s BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, released via his website in limited edition as Diminishing Returns.

I saw Beans perform live a few years back when he opened for post-rock gods Tortoise. His performance was raw– he rapped over DAT beats or a cappella– but it was memorable. The video only hints at Beans’ prowess as an emcee; he is one who is blessed with both wit and flow, a welcome change to the formulaic rhyme-sayers flooding popular radio, which needs more artists like him and less like Soulja Boy.