33 1/3 Volume 71: Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Using production techniques that have never been duplicated, the Bomb Squad plundered plundered and reconfigured their own compositions to make frenetic splatter collages; they played samples by hand - together in a room like like a rock band - creating a "not quite right" tension; they hand-picked their samples from only the ugliest squawks and sirens.
Through intense research and interviews, Weingarten delves into the original songs that were sampled and recontextualized forever. He finds out which of the four Bomb Squad members had the most personal relationship with each sample. Which records came from whose crate and why? Four songs sample 'Funky Drummer' (P.E. has certainly used it more than any ther artist outside of Atari Teenage Riot). What is it about its tumbling propulsion makes it their heartbeat? Were they influenced by Kool G Rap and the Ultramagnetic MC's use of it? Did they feel James Brown's vocal vamps in the original ('You don't have to do no soloing, just keep what you got brother') or the nature of Stubblefield's eight-bar solo (just the same riff played over and over) predate the feel and aesthetic of sample-based hip-hop?
Keep up with 33 1/3 series news.
Christopher R. Weingarten
4.75 x 6.5
April 2, 2010
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