Taking It To the Max

One of the compliments once paid to Soul Sides was in regards to our now famous “Apache Post” that was an adaptation of a Michaelangleo Matos paper given at the Experience Music Project Conference a few years back – this time, complete with sound files to help illustrate the point.

The reason people seemed to like it is that it seemed to embody the potential for audioblogs to create a unique medium for discussion and expression. After all, it’s more than just text or music on its own, but can combine the two in illuminating ways.

On that note, I’d like to pay respect to another EMP paper, this one given just the other month by ethnomusicologist Wayne Marshall of Wayne and Wax. It’s on the “Zigzagging Zungazung Meme,” which should be familiar to anyone who has, y’know, listened to hip-hop or reggae in the last 20 years. In this paper, Marshall traces the beginning of the “zungazeng zunga zunga zang” chant from Yellowman’s “Zunguzung” in 1982 and how it managed to creep into everything from the music of BDP, 2Pac, Biggie, Joe Budden and Matisyahu.

It’s a completely mesmerizing journey that Marshall takes you on and it’s only abetted by the fact that he includes sound clips for every key way station you pass along the way, culminating in his massive “Mini-Mega-Mix.”

This is well worth taking some time to read and listen. You’ll thank yourself for it.

“Follow Me Now: The Zigzagging Zungazung Meme”

King Sun: Sippin’ Brandy (edit)
From 12″ (Big Boss, 1993)

Meanwhile, I also had some time to catch up with some other audioblogs and seriously, When They Reminisce‘s two-part series on the samplings of “Blind Alley” (uno/dos) is what this medium is also all about. Eric, with help from Jaz, basically cobbled together a few dozen uses of the Emotions’ “Blind Alley” (perhaps my favorite sample of all time) which is probably best known on Big Daddy Kane’s “Ain’t No Half Steppin'” but has been flipped many, many times since. The WTR folks did a bang up job turning over every stone, with a lot of songs most of you younger dudes have never heard and older cats like me forgot about.

Personally, aside from BDK, two of my other favorite uses of the song are: 1) Redman’s “Reggie Noble vs. Redman” as well as 2) Craig Mack’s “Funk Wit Da Style” (both are included in the Part 1 post) and the reason why is because they let the main loop play. At least half of the songs WTR includes are tracks that flip the drum break off the song but filter the loop out and personally, I love the song FOR those bells so any song that puts ’em front and center is good in my book.

Which leads us to…

One of the songs included is King Sun’s “Sippin’ Brandy” a legendary early ’90s single that appeared on both Big Boss and Money Bag Records. Notoriously rare even though King Sun wasn’t exactly obscure. I have to thank Ed over at Sandbox for getting me the Big Boss version into my hands, many years ago. In any case, it uses the “Blind Alley” loop but flips it a bit different from other folks.

I noticed the song was included in the WTR post and taking a listen to it I realized with a chuckle: it’s the version of the song I put on my Incognitos Redux mixtape (not currently for purchase but I’m working on it). I know this because there’s a breakdown in the song where I mix in part of a Motion Man single (Joe Quixxx, holla!) and sure enough, on the WTR version, that same mixed in segment is there. However, it sounds like they have a burn of a burn or something pretty lo-fi so I decided to re-up a better version above, albeit one where I edited it so it’s only the first verse and chorus. Sorry but this is one of those songs that I still like to keep close to the chest, if you know what I mean. Still, you can see what makes the song pretty dope just based on what you have here. One of these days, someone needs to do a proper reissue of it. Such a lost classic….

But my point? When They Reminisce = killing it. Go peep their posts and check out those tracks before their gone. Great, great post so ’nuff respect to them.