There are many examples of soundbites and aural doo-dads utilised over the years that have their origins in Rap radio. Radio is something fleeting, something disposable, and when I was younger, like thousands of kids listening to Hip-Hop in the 80s & 90s, we would press play and record to capture the tunes we were hearin. Whether it was because we couldnt afford to buy the records being played, or cos we simply didnt live somewhere that gave us the opportunity to buy records. But there are so many across the globe that thankfully did the same. Somehow, some way, the electronic music outfit The Chemical Brothers were doing the same, or at least came across a recording made by someone who did.
This post is about hearing a Chemical Brothers tune in 1996, and loosing my shit in surprise because of a voice I recognised from 1983! If you were open-minded enough to be listening to both true school Hip-Hop and the Chemical Brothers back then or now, you might enjoy this shard of sound. When I heard the mind-bendin percussive b-boy funk on one of their finest productions Get Up On It Like This, and the Special Mix/ Yes Yes Yall lines from the track off their Loops of Fury EP, I immediately recognised the vocal source……
As points of reference, the opening to the Def Jam classic Public Enemy No.1 features a recording of the first Rap radio DJ, Mr Magic, complaining that the track was ‘Kinda weak’, on his WBLS Rap Attack show alongside super-producer Marley Marl. Just the fact that he had the nerve to claim that there would be ‘No More Music by the Suckers’ was myopic to say the least. Big shouts to Will C for this one…
The opening to the Wu-Tang Clan classic Protect Ya Neck ‘I wanna hear that Wu-Tang joint, again and again‘ is a perfect example. The ‘Roll that shit, light that shit, smoke it’ Intermission that follows Can it All Be So Simple on 36 Chambers is another one. Both of these are taken from radio recordings*.
‘All That Scratchins’ Makin you Itch?’ and the famous ‘How do you Manage to stay up to 4 O Clock in the mornin?’ line are both from the Trevor Horn produced Duck Rock album by Malcolm McLaren**. The tracks being Buffalo Gals and Double Dutch. Both of these were lifted from radio recordings of the World’s Famous Supreme Team Show, a truly pioneering radio show from New York [WHBI] that was broadcasting during the very early 80s.
Another WHBI show was The Zulu Beat, presented by the ‘Son of Bambaataa’, the chap that produced Ice Ts’ finest works, Afrika Islam. This DJ and these shows have a special place in the hearts of old school heads for many reasons. Even Tom & Ed from The Chemical Brothers had a jones for it.
Check the opening to the WHBI recording to catch a sample that ya wont find on WhoSampled [unless some fool gaffles this and transfers it to youtube].
*If anyone has this recording, or knows the radio show/ station, let’s talk.
**The answer to the question posed to Little Shee was ‘Too Much of that Snow White’….