Every week a new mainstream beat drops containing a sample 98% of the non-rap-nerd listening public would never recognize. So it was only right that I teamed up with my fellow rap nerds at Takin Mines for our new "Friday Flips" series.
Every Friday, we'll break down the production history of one of the week's "biggest" tracks. This week we tackle DJ Ozone's production on Chance The Rapper's "Everybody's Something" track:
Like most of the world, or at least most of the Hip-Hop loving world, or at least most of the Hip-Hop loving world that cares about internet mixtapes/albums from truly indie rappers, I spent much of my week listening to Chance the Rapper’s Acid Rap mixtape.
If one song on Acid Rap ends up becoming the standout, it will likely be “Everybody’s Something” a mellow cut that I’ve found myself returning to repeatedly these past few days. But initially, I kept “Everybody’s Something” on repeat because I knew the track’s producer, DJ Ozone, was using a classic sample, I just couldn’t place it. Truth be told, not being able to name the sample was fucking killing me until, in a rush of rap nerd euphoria, it came to me…
Shit, that’s it! It’s the beat J. Dilla did for Slum Village’s “Fall in Love.” I’m not going to get into a discussion of “best Dilla beats” here, that’ll take another 5,000 words, but personally “Fall in Love” is near the top of my list. Interestingly, instead of making the sample a centerpiece of “Everybody’s Something,” Ozone only uses a small chunk to set the tone, but considering the original instrumental is so good it almost makes me want to cry (seriously, and yes, I recognize that means I take this shit way too seriously), it’s more than enough.
Chance wasn’t the only rapper to recognize the sampling potential of Dilla’s “Fall in Love”, Evidence also used it for his “Late for the Sky”, but this wouldn’t be “Friday Flips” if we just stopped there. The question remains, where did Dilla originally get those heartbreaking chords from?
So... they say that fashion trends recycle every few decades, which is probably why a lotta you jokers are runnin’ around looking’ like you raided The Fresh Prince‘s closet circa ’89. Music trends, however, are different, and as Friday Flips has proved so far, it seems that every ten years (give or take) an incredibly recognized sample gets recycled for both better and for worse. Being that our goal here is to put the emphasis on the positive, and dead that whack shit, I for one can relate to the prolonged state of euphoria that Nathan’s experienced from his discovery of Chance The Rapper’s “Everybody’s Something.”
As soon as you press play on the Ozone-produced track, you can hear Gap Mangione‘s classic “Diana in the Autumn Wind” sample, which was featured on the jazz pianist/composer’s debut solo album of the same title, released back in 1968. I’m sure that many of us were not alone in the case of Déjà vu that my compadre Nathan experienced. Yes, Slum Village’s “Fall In Love” produced by the late great Dilla, as featured on their ’99 debut, "Fantastic, Vol. 2" is timeless, but let us not forget how just a few years later, Mangione’s “Diana” was sampled by Madlib as used for the track “The Official,” off the album "Champion Sound", which was a producer collab LP under the moniker Jaylib.. yup that’s J. Dilla x Madlib. Asking me to pick a favorite between “Fall In Love” and “The Official” is like asking to pick which of your two children you like more, so please don’t even go there with that.
In the years following, Gap’s “Diana in the Autumn Wind” sample has been used by Roy “Royalty” Hamilton for “Sunrise” by Wannabe Biggie Guerilla Black as well as the 9th Wonder produced “Plan B” from HaLo, featuring Skyzoo, which actually uses both interpolations featured on both “Fall in Love” and “The Official.”
Now as for Acid Rap, “Everybody’s Something” is not the only track which uses fairly recognizable samples. For example, just one position above on the tracklist, we’ll find the Nate Fox produced “Lost” which borrow’s from Willie Hutches time-honored “Brother’s Gonna Work It Out,” which was the backdrop for Doc Dre’s “Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat,” as well as Canibus’ “Niggonometry,” among others. Track eight “Favorite Song,” also produced by Nate Fox samples from Betty Wrights’ “Clean Up Woman,” which most of us are familiar with Mary J. Blige’s “Real Love” remix featuring B.I.G… yah, the real Biggie. And just one track below that, you’ll find Chance spittin’ over the Brandun Deshay produced “NaNa,” featuring a rather hilarious verse from Action Bronson, which borrows from Jack Wilkins “Red Clay,” which y’all pick up from ATCQ’s “Sucka Ni**a.”
In short, I fucks with Acid Rap, and so should you.