DJ Spinna by Egotripland.com
Brooklyn’s finest is one of the globe’s greatest party-people-pleasin’ turntable technicians, as anyone who’s attended his renowned Stevie Wonder, or Prince vs. Michael Jackson tribute parties, or enjoyed his uniformly excellent mix compilations can attest. What folks tend to forget, however, is that Spinna’s also a tremendously well-rounded producer, whose repertoire includes underground hip-hop, R&B, and house classics. In advance of Wednesday’s gig, we caught up with this master craftsman to ask him what his 10 favorite sample-based production flips are – any genre, any style.
CHECK OUT SPINNA’S PICKS AFTER THE JUMP…
- Black Star – “Little Brother” (MCA, 2000)
DJ Spinna: My number one is the J Dilla production of Black Star’s “Little Brother” – one of the craziest flips of all time. And I’ve come to realize even more how crazy it is when I re-created it. It took me about three hours to figure out what Dilla did. But I wanted to do an instrumental for [the song] because there is no instrumental that exists unless you have the original beat tape that it was on. I was also curious about the parts that Dilla took to sample from the Roy Ayers song because Roy Ayers is singing all over that record and there’s hardly any break.
Dilla sampled parts from the very beginning to almost the middle of the song – anywhere he could take an open piece. Even the intro where Roy Ayers says, “Now listen” – that’s part of the loop. So I recreated it, man, and realized it’s really clever. It’s only an 8-bar loop but you think it’s longer just from all the pieces that he put together. I wanted to re-create the instrumental in time for Dilla’s birthday anniversary and play it at the “Donuts Are Forever” party last February, which I did at the very end of the night. That was my mission.
- Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth – “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” (Elektra, 1992)
DJ Spinna: There are so many mysteries behind who did this beat, or who conceptualized the beat. There were rumors that Large Pro had the disks. What I understand is that Large Professor had the [Tom Scott] record and told Pete about it. And then Pete flipped the Tom Scott record. When you really sit back and listen to the instrumental of ["They Reminisce"], you hear so much: the way the James Brown “Say It Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud” drums were flipped, the naked bass line from the Tom Scott record, the use of the vocals (the “baa-baa-baa-baaaa”), and the way the horn floats in and out throughout the verse. Sort of like how the horns were floating in and out of his “Shut Em Down” remix. I gotta say that those records were inspirations to me. Because Pete Rock basically fathered a style. A lot of people from that era that were making records had horns floating in and out on their records. It’s hard to say who was the first one to do it because I know Large Pro was doing that too. But I’d say Pete Rock mastered it.
- 2Pac ft. Shock G & Money B – “I Get Around” (Interscope, 1993)
DJ Spinna: I’ve gotta give credit to Shock G because on “I Get Around” his use of “Computer Love” was pretty sick. He was always good for taking pieces of songs to sample. Other cats would use whole bars and loops. But Shock G was great in that a lot of his productions found him taking little pieces and extending them with live piano instrumentation. Like playing chords, almost basically taking the sample and making it part of his own composition. Here, he used a piece of the “Computer Love” verse, the part where it goes, “You know I been around.” You can hear the background vocal, the talk box. So it’s real clever. He’s actually using what other cats wouldn’t even think of using – a piece of the verse with the vocals in it.
4. Group Home – “Supa Star” (Payday, 1994)
DJ Spinna: Premier is the undisputed champ of flips. He’ll take a record that nobody cares about, would never buy, and kill it. Not to say the Cameo album with this song is garbage because it’s got classic cuts on there. But his use of “Hangin’ Downtown” – the intro to that song – is not something that I think anyone would have thought to use, especially in the manner that he used it. It’s just genius, man. Premier has that inner era that’s just unstoppable and untouchable. Nobody can mess with him when it comes to chops and flips. He killed that. And with the alternate mix “Supa Dupa Star” – even more so. Very creative to think that he could revisit the sample and figure out another way to use it.
5. Slum Village – “Players” (Donut Boy, 1996)
DJ Spinna: I gotta go back to Dilla. He’s one of the most incredible sample flippers of our lifetime. “Players” by Slum Village is unique because of the way it creates a play on words. The choice of sample was absolutely incredible, unique, and genius. The song is called “Players,” the song is about being a player. But the name of the song sampled is “Clair.” Dilla took the Singers Unlimited version of “Clair” and slowed it down beyond the turntable’s pitch capacity. So he obviously slowed it down in the drum machine. It gives you the illusion when played back that they’re saying “Player” in the way its incorporated with the theme of the song. But it’s not saying “Player,” it’s saying “Clair.” When that was unearthed it blew everybody away. That’s when people began looking like Dilla like, okay, this is a dude cut from a different cloth for sure. There was nothing like that before its time.
Psykhomantus Error. Mixtape mistake as i recorded Zapp "More Bounce" instead of "Computer Love".
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