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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Returing to Cantaloupe Island

posted by on March 21 at 11:40 AM

Some hiphop beats kill the song they’ve sampled. An example of this is Us3’s “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia),” which in 1993 stamped/sampled Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island” into a lifeless stupor.
So brutal was Us3 looping, and so lame their rapping, that whenever I listened to Empyrean Isles, I’d quickly skip “Cantaloupe Island,” which is between the eternally joyful “Oliloqui Valley” (Tony WIlliam’s drumming is the happiness of happy architecture) and the theatrical “The Egg” (theatrical in the Greek sense). Today, for the time in years, I let “Cantaloupe Island” run from start to end, and was pleased to rediscover Lee Morgan’s solo. Like a beam of bold light, it transcends the weakness of the composition and ultimately rewards the pain of baring the lifted riff.

An example of a hiphop beat improving its sample is, of course, Brand Nubian’s “Slow Down.” Without “Slow Down” Edie Brickell’s “What I Am” would be nothing.

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I recommend Hugh Masekela's version on "The Lasting Impression of Ooga Booga" which is one of the greatest live albums of all time.

Posted by elswinger | March 21, 2007 1:29 PM

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