13 Beats of the Week 3/15

  1. “Devil’s Pie” by D’Angelo 

Off of D’Angelo’s masterpiece, Voodoo, “Devil’s Pie” is a cut produced by DJ Premier and D’Angelo. The bass line on this song is sampled from Teddy Pendergrass’ “And if I Had.” There are several other vocal samples done in Preemo’s signature style. Like the rest of Voodoo, D’Angelo’s vocal arrangements on this album are stunning.

  1. “Gz and Hustlas (ft. Nancy Fletcher)” by Snoop Dogg

The iconic bass line on this song comes from the weird and wondrous “Haboglabotribin’” by Bernard Wright. Snoop’s version, produced by Dr. Dre, was apparently recorded as a freestyle. It’s the penultimate song from his classic 1993 debut album, Doggystyle.  

  1. “Guess Who’s Back (ft. Jay-Z & Beanie Sigel)” by Scarface

This is a star studded track to say the least. The song was produced by a young Kanye West, two years before he released The College Dropout. The samples include everything, from Dr. Dre drums, to a 70s funk song from the Originals called “Sunrise.” The bass is boosted on the track and makes the groove insatiable. To top it off, Mike Dean mastered the track.

  1. “Vivrant Thing” by Q-Tip

Q-Tip, who is from hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, is one of the greatest producers of all-time. This song was Q-Tip’s first solo single and the lead single for his debut album, Amplified. Even though Q-Tip is a virtuoso himself, he brought on J Dilla to help with some of the production. The main bass sample is Love Unlimited Orchestra’s “I Wanna Stay.”

  1. “So Many Tears” by 2Pac

Directly following “Me Against the World,” on the album by that same name, comes this mellow yet mournful song. D-Flow Production Squad put together a beautiful canvas for 2Pac to paint on. They combined Stevie Wonder’s “That Girl” for that signature harmonica and called on Quincy Jones’ “The Dude” for the simple, yet emotional bass line. 

  1. “Gimme Some More” by Busta Rhymes

DJ Scratch snaps on the production of this Busta banger. He takes Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho Theme” (composed by Bernard Herrmann) and adds a neck-breaking bass line. After engaging in some braggadocio, Busta unleashes into rapid-fire flows.

  1. “Loosie” by Black Milk & Danny Brown

The Detroit hip-hop stars teamed up in 2011 to make the underrated album, Black and Brown. On “Loosie,” Black Milk stays behind the boards whilst Danny Brown spazzes over Black Milk’s stellar production. Around the same time, the record label Fool’s Gold released a cigarette shaped USB called Loosie that featured songs by Danny Brown and more than 20 others. 

  1. “Loitering” by Mac Miller

Young L gave Mac Miller a crazy beat mostly made of a distorted bass. Mac described the song’s concept to Billboard as, “‘You’re at the park after dark. You’re loitering.’ The title is more from the vibe you get from it. What would this song be the soundtrack to? Not worrying about what I say. That’s what I’m saying with Blue Slide Park.”

  1. “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” by Missy Elliott 

Missy Elliott and Timbaland are always a force to be reckoned with. Missy’s 1997 Supa Dupa Fly album is full of hip-hop bops. This song was her first single and led to her first music video, directed by Hype Williams. Timbaland predominantly samples Ann Peebles’ “I Can’t Stand the Rain” and adds some funky bass progressions. 

  1. “Pigeon” by Cannibal Ox

Cannibal Ox’s 2001 “The Cold Vein” is an underground hip-hop classic, produced by El-P and released on his label, Definitive Jux. The song samples Jaco Pastorious’ “Portrait of Tracy,” which is one of the most beautiful and creative bass songs ever recorded. 

  1. “Black Qualls (ft. Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington & Childish Gambino) by Thundercat

A feel-good song from Thundercat’s new album, It Is What It Is. All the artists take turns singing on this track with production handled by Flying Lotus and of course Thundercat. Steve Lacy said, “He’s the coolest bass player that ever walked the Earth, period.”

  1. “California” by Dom Kennedy

Dom Kennedy brings the west coast to your speakers with “California.” Polyester the Saint’s use of “Dreaming About You” by the Blackbyrds is soaring and vivacious. The bounce on this track is ethereal and Dom’s raps are super smooth. 

  1. “London (ft. Tion Wayne)” by M24

This drill beat is deep and infectious. The 808s swarm as M24 and Tion Wayne lay down a catchy song about London. Produced by ETS and MigzBeats, this song has endless replay value.