Sunday, April 15, 2007
We Can Go To the Flat and Get Tantric
The Roots - "Thought @ Work" (unreleased version)
Big Daddy Kane - "Raw" (1987 demo version) featuring Kool G Rap
So last night the esteemed Nazty Fresh and I were drunk as shit, and somewhere in the inevitable ramblings about rap music we got to talking about "Thought @ Work", and as he had not heard the OG version I thought I'd post it up here.
I kind of feel like I should dedicate some time to the '88-'90 fast rap style of G Rap, Kane, etc... but at the same time it isn't as though that shit hasn't gotten major, major blog love already, so we'll see. The main point is just that on The Roots' 2002 Phrenology record there was "Thought @ Work" which perfectly emulated those older songs, and which I enjoyed very much. Sometimes throwback rap goes too far, but I felt this one was just right. Black Thought continued his love affair with the style on a few songs from The Tipping Point (a record I actually kinda enjoyed) and even got to perform with Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane in "Dave Chappelle's Block Party", but that's another story.
The thing is, "Thought @ Work" wasn't originally going to be a Roots song at all. It was originally meant for a (now scrapped) Black Thought solo album, and so the OG version is actually a more traditional sample-based rap song, without live instruments. It could never be officially released though, because it samples The Beatles ("Hey Bulldog" specifically) and that's a kiss of death to any rap song. Michael Jackson will not let those rights be used for anything but many, many, many commercials.
While I was writing this post I remembered another unreleased fast rap song, this one from the beginning of the style. Everyone knows Big Daddy Kane's "Raw" (or goddammit they should!) but this demo actually has a guest verse from Kool G Rap when he was unknown but about to blow up. If you're a rap nerd like me this is the kinda shit you love (tinny quality and all)... if not, you should still give it a listen.