Saturday, June 14, 2008

never enough rhodes comp #7 (hip hop)

'Good Rap Music'- Bahamadia

I'd imagine that most people who visit sites like this one enjoy 1970s jazz, funk, soul, and related forms. But we take different paths to get here - some people know these musics from back in the day, while others have tracked back to the music via hip hop samples, explorers looking for treasure amongst the dusty grooves of yesteryear. Part of the history of the Fender Rhodes electric piano is somehow tied up in this search, specifically : the near-disappearance of the instrument around the time of the early 1980s, and then its return to many forms of popular music, including hip hop, in the 1990s and the current decade.

'Thought Process'- Breakthrough / Grap Luva

The development of FM synthesis in the 80s, and the 'audio shock' or the novelty of that technology's clarity and emulation of the 'real' , led people away from warmer tones of analogue emulations like the Rhodes. The gated-reverb snare drum that could bite your head off and the crisp bells of the DX-7 synthesiser took over. The rhodes company tried to adapt, but by then had lost both their classic sound and the public ear.

Later, sometime in the early 90s, I remember buying a keyboard module that included a "dusty rhodes" patch - the rhodes samples it contained were overlayed with other samples of vinyl crackle and dust. This was around the time people like Pete Rock, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul were excavating 70s jazz in their classic hip hop albums.
So things like the "dusty rhodes" patch - appearing at a time when the rhodes itself was no longer being manufactured, would seem to mean that the rhodes had become a "vinyl instrument" that could travel in time, and could bring the music of the past to life via the turntable or the sampler.

'Relieved'- Pete Philly & Perquisite

After rhodes samples brought the sound back to the public's ears via hip hop, the sound began to re-appear in the music of the next soul generation, via people like D'Angelo, Maxwell and more recently Dwele (who plays here on Bahamadia's "Beautiful Things"). People began to refurbish and play the Rhodes again, along with virtual emulations, in the 90s. The sound once again spread through many forms of music, and last month the Rhodes company announced that they are, for the first time in many years, to release a new series of the instrument.

'K.O.S. (Determination)'- Talib Kweli / Mos Def

In this seventh compilation, "Hip Hop and the Fender Rhodes", I don't want to do a historical summary of the 90s rhodes-n-jazz flavoured hip hop that I mentioned, but rather look at its after-effect.

This is more recent, jazz-flavoured hip hop, all from the last ten years, mostly still existing somewhere outside the newer world of million-selling commercial "pop hop". I don't get too excited at a lot of the blandness in popular music that passes itself off either as "jazz" or "hip hop" these days, but to me, the connections that some hip hop is making with jazz, ranging from the more soul and jazz-related stuff in this comp to the more esoteric edge of West coast independent hip hop labels, really IS the spirit of "jazz" in the 21st Century.

'Come get with it'- Basic Vocab

Sometimes the rhodes is sampled here, sometimes it's played, often both in the same track. This is an international collection, mostly from hip hop's birthplace, the USA, but also from places like Japan and France. I guess i'd subtitle this "The Children Of Pete Rock" - and even his brother is on track 2.

This is for the funky people, for the hip hop people, for the jazz people, all of you. Hope you enjoy it, tell me what you think ...

click the pic below for more rhodes compilations


Simon666 said...

Never Enough Rhodes Compilation 7 – Hip Hop

About 118 mb in total, available from below.

All downloads include covers.

If you’re in the small comment window, right-click or control click the download links to open a new window.

TRACKLIST below as well if you need it in text.

Comments pleez!
Rapidshare A and Rapidshare B
Zshare A and Zshare B

Never Enough Rhodes Compilation 7 – Hip Hop

01 Good Rap Music – Bahamadia
02 Thought Process - Breakthrough (Ft. Grap Luva)
03 Gone – Artofficial
04 Higher - Q-Tip
05 Benzaiten Love (DJ Mitsu remix) - Grooveman Spot ft Count bass D
06 Nic's Groove (Back To Basics remix) - Foreign Exchange
07 Complexity - The Roots
08 Stand To The Side - Talib Kweli (Ft. Novel & Vinia Mojica)
09 Ease Back - Basic Vocab
10 Official - Q-Tip
11 No Game - Breakthrough (ft. Jneiro Jarel)
12 Cheap Chicks – Bahamadia
13 I Am Hip Hop - Jazz Liberatorz Ft Asheru
14 Relieved (new generation big band remix) - Pete Philly & Perquisite
15 Come Get With It - Basic Vocab
16 What's real - Jazz Liberatorz ft Aloe Blacc
17 K. O. S. (Determination) - Mos Def/Talib Kweli
18 Beautiful Things - Bahamadia

avocado kid said...

Great Post! really lookin' forward to this one. I too came to funk and soul from Hip Hop... I was into Native Tongues era stuff and started looking more closely at those sounds they were building songs out of! The rhodes and organ sounds were definitely a major source of the appeal to me. I think one of the 1st for me was Black Moon's "who got the props" - that rhodes stab (sampled from Ronnie Laws) just sounded so great! I remember seeing the Roots for the first time back around 95 or so and being impressed that they had a guy in the band playing not a digital keyboard but a rhodes only! Very cool. Eventually I learned to distinguish between the sound of a rhodes and a wurli, which is also really nice. Maybe you should do a wurli comp sometime!

OK, thanks again for this and all the other goodies.

Simon666 said...

Thanks so much for the comment, Avocado Kid - I was beginning to think that maybe i'd posted this on the wrong blog :)

Cellar said...

thanks so much! great blog, thanks for multiple uploads aswell

Visuals said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Visuals said...

Simon666: I for one cannot say that I got into funk/soul through hip hop as I have always been around music as a kid. For me, It all started with the Funk. With my dad, uncles, cousins and brothers ALL heavily into funk, I really didn't have a choice getting into the genre as I always had to hear it....whether I liked it or not. I was among the youngest so the influence was definately there. By the time hip-hop was really making a name for itself during the golden days of beat sampling, I found great joy in testing my music knowledge figuring out where those original samples were taken from. My love for hip-hop was developed in that manner. I also feel that this same exposure is largely responsible for my taste in music being as versatile as it is...Funk,Soul,Hip-Hop,Reggae,Rock,Psychedelic,World,Progressive,Jazz,Blues,Classical and everything in between. I pretty much can get into anything that is kept in a understandable context.

Now for the compilation...I haven't had the chance to hear the whole thing yet but I see you have a lot of Philly artists on here which is always welcomed as I lived there for over half my life. Philly hip-hop and Philly music in general will always hold a special place in my heart as I usually recognize the musical style, slang, arrangements and so-forth. I moved south from Philly in 94' but the essence of the city still runs through my veins. Just hearing the music and style of these artists makes me remember the good times and fun I had there.

I hope to hear the whole compilation in it's entirety soon and be able to give a more thorough opinion of the music within.

I thank you for these Simon! Keep up the good work and I will continue to visit here at never enough rhodes! Hope that you do the same for us at Bari-Beat Bandits (San Pasquale).

Simon666 said...

Hey visuals, thanks for stopping by, some great funk at your blog recently ;)

I always find people's paths through music interesting ... and looking at both your post and Avocado Kid's post above, I guess that's the type of thing I was talking about through the post - he tracked back to jazz and funk from hip hop samples, and you came the other way.

My own path is different again. I had a love for funk and soul as a child in the 70s, though in a place like Australia then , it was a limited exposure. There was some local stuff, which I've posted some of in the blog, a bit of the better known funk, and occasional late-night mysteries on the radio like Chaka Khan and Rufus.

Then in the 80s I was off on a different planet - playing experimental and classical music in Berlin, releasing some CDs, making short films, using early samplers to use sounds as textures - all fascinating, but far from the funk.

Some threw "Fear of a black planet" to me in 1990, and it changed everything. I had already started to sample bits of other music within my music, and here was this whole other world of music i'd missed, where people like the Bomb Squad were pushing that idea to to the exreme
Then I got interested in the politics and the texts in that album and a few others, and finally, I got led back to the funk of my chiildhood.

I began to explore deeper into funk and soul, now with access to my than i'd had as a child. From there I guess it's a more familiar path , moving out to the strands of african, jazz, latin brazilian - all of which still seem like an endless world of possibility and connections ....

So with me, I feel like hip hop took me back again, it told me that I had more to explore somewhere that i'd left behind, while it could also take me ahead ....

Amyway hope you enjoy the comp! Yes, some Philly, some Detroit and other stuff, all somehow tied in with this thing we call jazz ....

wiljello said...

love your blogspot ,always have time for a little jazz in my hip hop!

Visuals said...

Simon666: I have finally had the chance to absorb the cuts & I just want to commend you again on this great compilation. Good stuff here.
Love the flow and order of the songs selected and also the jazzy mellow mood of the whole offering. What is even greater is the fact that I haven't heard any of the songs before now and fresh sounds are always welcome.
Thanks and keep up the good work.

Simon666 said...

That's cool Visuals, glad you enjoyed it :)
Thanks for the comments.

Anonymous said...

thank you.

bluenote124 said...

Always room for quality Hip Hop with me as long as its soulful/jazzy and this lives up to my mark well. nice one!.Check my blog if you get chance

Ms.BeatJunkie!!! said...

I just love this blog!!!!

Simon666 said...

Thanks Ms.Beatjunkie! Good to see you digging in the old posts :)

Unknown said...

A very cool mix. Keep up the good work. I really want to thank you for all the Strata East content too - incredible music.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see these elements of hip-hop being given their proper due. Between the victims of hip hop's commercial fare at one end and those keen on dismissing hip hop as a whole at the other, I often feel that what I love most in this music is largely neglected. Anyhoo... for those fans of the rhodes coming from the hip-hop direction (or any other) check out 'the Remix Project' courtesy of Nothing mind-blowing by any means, but a very entertaining set of live-band (drums, keys, guitar, bass, perc., sparse sampling) covers of some more mainstream hip-hop beats. If only 'Get Your Freak On', etc. had sounded more like this in the first place...

Muras said...

Thank you for making such a cracking range of compilations available. So much stuff I doubt I'd come across elsewhere and such knowledge on the music too. Love it!

Cheers, Muras

can said...


Axel Steinbiss said...

thx! great music great blog!!!!