This week’s track of the week comes from the realm of crisp nineties New-York Hip-hop. The record is a product of the old school, legendary MC, Grand Puba. If you ask any serious Hip-Hop head they will state how Puba was a pivotal player in the genre’s golden era. From his early work with Masters of Ceremony to his later lead role within the group, Brand Nubian. He was born in New Rochelle, New York back in 1966 and went on like many, to thrive off the heartbeat of Hip-hop which had the big apple in a choke-hold. Over his career he played with many types of rap, although his most notable style was his fusion of R&B with that gritty New-York sound. Some of his extensive effort to blend the two genres stretched out to even the likes of Mary J Blige and Fat Joe. Grand Puba was involved and a part of the richest vein of the Hip-Hop talent during the golden era. However, he was as underrated as it gets, but it just takes one listen of his music and production to understand the quality of the native New-Yorker.
The album ‘2000’, which was ironically released in 1995, is recognised by many greats a staple requirement in any Hip-Hop fan’s diet. The timeless album encompass everything the rapper is about in the sense that it shines light on the never ending depth that East-Coast Hip-hop has always retained. The album is a sampling spectacle which takes inspiration from Gil Scott Heron, Brothers Johnson, The O’jays and even Barry White. All of the beats are so well put together that just listening to the album makes you feel as if you’ve just stepped onto a carousel of beat-making magic. In my opinion, the best track has to be ‘I like it’, one the most famous tracks off the album and in Grand Puba’s career all together. Upon listening, avid Hip-Hop fans will notice all sorts of cuts, chops and neat hooks which have all been used throughout the history of the genre. For me, that track has the all-encompassing east-coast sound. The sort of sound where it’s raining hard outside and you’re inside, dry, and with nothing else to do than flick through hours and hours of untouched crates of sampled goodness. It starts off by smothering the beat with an authentic crackle, most commonly associated with that of a record player’s needle. After this intro, we are looped right into a Hip-Hop masterpiece of chiming bells and super-tight hooks. As you can imagine, the track possesses more than one sample. Two of the most notable and major samples are Michael Jackson’s 1972 hit ‘I Wanna Be Where You Are’ and the 1968 classic ‘Never My Love’ by Latin legend, Cal Tjader.
The real appeal of this track is it’s timelessness. For some reason the song seems to work at any time and any occasion. This masterpiece from Grand Puba has the sound to chime around just at the right time. Just one listen is all it takes.
Listen & enjoy –