Buckwild vs. Beatnuts: Who Flipped It Better?

Cal Tjader: Morning
From Agua Dulce (Fantasy, 1971). Also on Descarga!.

O.C. and Buckwild: What I Represent
From America Is Dying Slowly (Elektra, 1996)

The Beatnuts: Fluid
From white label 12″ (?, 1997?)

For this latest installment, I’m rolling with 1) one of my favorite Cal Tjader songs, 2) one of my favorite O.C. songs, 3) one of my favorite Buckwild productions and 4) one of my favorite Beatnuts’ productions/songs. And as fate would have it: it’s all based around the same song…

Cal Tjader first recorded (I believe) “Morning” for his Soul Burst album but he re-recorded a different version, this one with a vocal chorus accompaniment, for Agua Dulce, a surprisingly difficult title of his to find despite being on Fantasy. Both versions are nice…just sublimely mellow, but I’ve always been more partial to the Agua Dulce version just for the vocal touch.

Apparently, Buckwild liked it a lot too since he looped this up for “What I Represent,” a stand-out, yet slept-on, song from the American Is Dying Slowly soundtrack. This was back when O.C. was still like the Promised One for a lot of cats and between his lyrical content, the beat and that chorus built off Ike White and Q-Tip, the whole song was something lovely, lovely, lovely.

About a year after that, this white label of supposedly unreleased Street Level-era songs surfaced. I’ve heard, from some corners, that there was an official Relativity test-pressing that had three of these songs, including “Fluid” on it that came out around 1995 but I’ve yet to see anyone confirm its actual existence. That said, “Fluid” definitely sounds like it could have been on Street Level and it takes the “Morning” loop and juices it up more uptempo (note: I’m pretty sure the version of “Morning” here is from Soul Burst). A different style and sound from Buckwild’s approach.