KANYE WEST: NEW MILEAGE FROM OLD CLASSICS


I was a little slow in getting around to listening to Kanye’s new “Good Friday” series but I’ve been enjoy the hell out of “Devil In a BlueNew Dress” as well as the title song of the series, which features a pretty gonzo line-up including Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi and more.

Kanye West feat. Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Big Sean, Charlie Wilson: Good Friday
From the Good Friday series (Good, 2010)

My first thought upon listening to this was, “damn, this sounds good” (no pun intended)…”Ye is back! F— 808 and auto-tune-aches.”

Second thought (natch): “what is this piano loop?”

One google search later turned up what I should have realized from the first: “oh snap, it’s Freddie Scott!”

Freddie Scott: You Got What I Need
From 7″ (Shout, 1968)

I just DJed a rehearsal dinner out in Charleston (which will probably be a post in and of itself) and there were two songs that went over the biggest with a crowd of intergenerational White Southerners. The first was this. The second was going from Freddie Scott into Biz Markie. Biz deserves a lot of credit here for creating a timeless classic but let’s also concede: Freddie Scott’s single is incredible – a perfectly put together soul single that has everything you could ask for – superior production, songwriting, singing and a hook that obviously has inspired arguably THE greatest hook in hip-hop history.

And let’s also note: Kanye does an impressive job of flipping Scott here in a way that doesn’t nod automatically to Biz but it”s not just an issue of sampling; whoever wrote the song’s arrangement (Ye as well?) deserves huge credit for smartly using his singers to full effect on the hook and taking folks to church with an uplifting gospel feel. I don’t know if I really want to hear this eclectic line-up of MCs on it but I’m willing to overlook that.

Freddie Scott = the gift that just keeps on giving.

Additional thought: As good as this is, Kanye’sBink’s flip of Smokey on “Devil In a New Dress” is f—-ng incredible and I was genuinely sad that the song is less than 3 minutes long. (I need an instrumental that I keep bumping on endless loop).

Kanye West: Devil in a New Dress
From the Good Friday series (Good, 2010)

Kanye takes a lot of heat – much of it deserved. Like most pop figures trying to exploit the publicity machine to their own advantage, his over-presence is annoying, to say the least, but there’s a difference between someone who you’re tired of hearing about (Kanye, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber) vs. someone you’re tired of listening to. HUGE difference.

I don’t care much for Kanye as a pop icon (and in all fairness, I don’t really care for anyone as a pop icon). But I care very much for him as a musician who continually manages to surprise, impress and occasionally, inspire. And truly, there’s a significant distance he places between what he can do vs. what others are capable of coming with. I was listening to an advance by a different producer/rapper and it was pretty good. Really good, in fact. Yet, I don’t know if there was any track I heard on that entire album that gave me the same “cotdamn!” feeling I felt in listening to either “Devil in a New Dress” or “Good Friday”. That’s not meant to be a diss on this other guy; I think he’s talented and he’s put together a well-crafted, pleasing album. But Kanye is on some whole ‘nother level and it reminds me that long-term success is almost never a fluke, least of all in ‘Ye’s case. Like any great artist, he’s not always going to score on every attempt…but when he hits one out the park, it’s over the wall and smashing windshields. Believe that.

(9/28 update: In case anyone’s interested, I did a small edit job on “Good Friday” that killed two birds with one stone. First of all, I thought Big Sean’s verses on this were garbage. Every time I listened to the song, I got annoyed when they came on…so I cleared them out. But that creates a continuity problem of sorts because the end of his verse normally needs into a break on the song so I had to find a new home for that break and I moved it to the very beginning of the song, futzed around with Kanye’s opening acappella to put it on beat and voila. Theoretically, it’s more DJ friendly but since Kanye only put these songs on his site at 128, it’s not worth DJing with. It has, however, a more pleasurable listen now that I don’t have to listen to Big Sean bragging about how he and his boys ran the train on someone’s wife. Blech.

Comments

comment(s)

19 comments to KANYE WEST: NEW MILEAGE FROM OLD CLASSICS

  • Chimmy

    Hey O-Dub, couldn’t agree with you more. FYI the song is called “Devil in a New Dress”

  • Eric Luecking

    I got that Smokey Robinson Solo Albums Vol 1 (and 2) from Hip-O Select in the mail last week.  That Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow was one of the standouts from the first volume.  Even better than that (and begging to be sampled, if not already) is a track called Holly (on Vol 1) originally from the album Smokey.

  • riyadh

    Chimmy is correct and “Devil In A New Dress” is actually produced by Bink!

  • Oliver Wang

    Ah, corrected, thanks. 

  • riyadh

    What did you think of “Monster?” I think that’s the strongest G.O.O.D. Friday release so far and Nicki Minaj delivered a “Life’s A Bitch”-esque show stealer of a verse. It completely changed my opinion of her

  • Oliver Wang

    I like the song and Jay and Nicky’s performances. I’m not as wowed over by the track though.  

  • Andres Jimenez

    Listen to the young brotha J. Cole rap over “Devin in a New Dress”, the song is called villematic and he kills that track!!

  • MAAD

    Just wondering who that other different producer/rapper you were listening to…

  • Brandon

    I want to do small edits like this for some old funk 45s that have annoying opening hoots and hollers and various verses that get irritating on rotation.  Usually the only thing I can do is convert the mp3 to a wav file, then open my wav editor (the basic one that comes with Creative Soundblaster Sound cards) and basically crop or truncate the file to get rid of the first few seconds.  This only works ofcourse if the main beat comes on after the annoying verses or sometimes I can cut to a downbeat on the drums and it sounds fine.  But only at the beginning or end.  I really got to get creative to cut a part out in the middle.  The only tools I really have with my wav editor are cut and paste and volume fade.  Sometimes I want to do something small in the middle of a song.  Here’s a great example of cleaning up a great but very weird funk 45 to make it listenable:  

    Original song   –http://rapidshare.com/files/422089922/xA2_the_devils_-_the_exorcist__original_.mp3
    My simple edit –http://rapidshare.com/files/422090931/A2_the_devils_-_the_exorcist____edit_take_2_.mp3 

    I cut out about a minute of crap… Now if I could only get rid of those annoying frog and siren sounds…  
    But I want to do more sometimes.  You do remix contests occasionally like that “Bobby Reed – Time is right” post. How do you guys do those remixes??? Especially when all you have is an mp3 of a 40 year old song and not each instrumenatl track and the acapella track to work with.What software do you use O-dub?  And more importantly are there any sites or tutorials you know of that will take you step by step through a remix so that I can learn?  Thanks 

  • Eurasian Sensation

    O-Dub, what is the first song that went over well with the Southern crowd? I can’t access the link because it’s blocked in my country for some reason. I’m just curious.

  • Benny B

    i was just thinking about making a re-edit of good friday. yours is pretty good but i think im gonna loop up the drums for 8 bars to make a mixable intro and then go into the charlie wilson part and extend that for 8 or 16 bars. that vocal is so catchy i know its gonna be big… then go into kanye then pusha and probably cut sean out too.

    also the 192 is out let me know if you cant find it twitter.com/djbennyb/

  • Oliver Wang

    “The Cupid Shuffle.” 

  • Benjamin Zitney

    Setting aside Biz Markie for a second, who flipped the Freddie Scott song better — Kanye on this post’s featured song or Ghostface on “Save Me Dear”?

  • Buzzter

    Nice edit, gotta agree about seans verse.

  • Anonymous

    i got 5 on the “other rapper-producer” being Black Milk….

  • Anonymous

    by the way o-dub, when you were concisely listing the components that make Freddie Scott’s original version a “perfect soul song” you forgot to mention the DRUMS! I mean goddamn do those opening drums knock, not to mention that the form a perfect hip hop drum pattern. It’s almost hard to imagine songs like this existing before the hip hop aesthetic, it’s just so damn sample-able.

  • OW

    You would lose that 5. Sorry.

  • Brandon

    Thanks for all the help guys. Lots of information here.  Thanks for your time O-dub.  

  • chris

    want to see/read a post about the wedding rehearsal you dj’ed!

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>