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 Lab
is 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+