I dug up a pretty amazing audio conversation I had with Domino of Hieroglyphics from way back in June 1997, right as Hiero was knee-deep preparing their debut “family album”, 3rd Eye Vision for mass consumption.
Presented in our all-new Stink-E-Scope theater technology, this is more than just a simple audio interview: Sit back and be amazed by the moving pictures, the talkie high fidelity audio and tons of Hiero history as we go back…WAY back…To 1997:
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Errrrr…Put yer breaks on. Scratch that. We just noticed you’re most likely using a tablet device of some sort. This chumpy requires a good deal of screen real estate. Something like a laptop or a desktop. We’re also not quite convinced (at the time of this writing, at least) most tablet devices can sustain the power that is Stink-E-Scope theater. So unfortunately, you won’t be able to view it at the moment. But, we promise, if you come back and visit on a non-tablet device, it’ll be worth it.
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Just uploaded a new mix: “Stompin to the 90′s – Late Edition”, featuring songs from the mid-to-late 90′s of hiphop. Track listing follows the embed below. Download or stream now at Soundcloud:
Abstract Tribe Unique
Black Eyed Peas
Kool Keith & Motion Man
T-Love, Siah & Wee Bee Foolish
A Tribe Called Quest
Hip-Hop beats were built on producers digging through crates of old, dusty vinyl records in the elusive search for the Perfect Sample. But some of these dudes apparently have been digging through yard sales and the used video game rack at GameStop too because there’s quite a bit of video game sampling going on in hiphop.
Below are some mad random hiphop songs with some random-ass video game samples in ‘em. I didn’t bother with obvious things like, “Oh shit! Smif n’ Wessun sampled Mario Brothers!”. And I’m going to ignore the fact that DJ Sega sampled (wait for it) a Sega game. Let’s break it down bit by bit…
BMS, “Mucho Stereo” Vs. Mortal Kombat (Genesis)
If you own this record, props. I personally love this track.
If the name “BMS” rings familiar, then you were probably buying records in the mid-to-late 90′s. “Mucho Stereo” is a sick 12″ that dropped in ’98 with the El-P produced Indelibles cut, “Weight” on the flip side. But the BMS tune, produced by the man himself, is the one. The crazy thing about this track though is it samples the Genesis version of Mortal Kombat (1993) which has an entirely different soundtrack than the arcade version — or even its Super Nintendo brother, for that matter. Still, I personally like the Genesis music. Check out the sample below:
Janet Jackson, “China Love” Vs. Legend of Mana
OK, OK, I’m cheating a bit. I know Janet Jackson isn’t hiphop. I, mean, don’t get me wrong: Janet’s HIPHOP. But her music ain’t hiphop. Alright, anyway…
This one blew my mind, I had to include it. Who the fuck is playing Legend of Mana — a Japanese role-playing game on Playstation from 1999 — up in Janet’s camp? Jimmy Jam? Or Terry Lewis? This shit bugged me out so bad, I had to figure out what was going on here. And sure enough, in the book (remember when music came with booklets?) it reads: “* Contains a sample from the Square game ‘Legend of Mana’”. *MIND BLOWN*
Tajai & SupremeEx, “Fluid Motion” Vs. Tobal 2
Now you may be asking yourself: “Yameen, how is it you know so much about video game samples in hiphop songs?” Well, it just so happens I have sampled a few video games in the past myself my attorney informs me that it’s something I can assure everyone I know from experience, as per “considerable time spent in the hiphop game” (pun partially intended).
In 1999, Tajai & *ahem* SupremeEx released their EP, Projecto: 2501. On it was the song, Fluid Motion which sampled an obscure part of an obscure import video game known as Tobal 2. When this game came out on the original PlayStation in 1997, it was a marvel to behold. Unfortunately, due to dismal sales of its predecessor, Tobal 2 was never released on American shores.
The sample takes place in the Quest Mode of the game which is entirely in Japanese. So if you don’t know Japanese, you probably won’t get very far. But that didn’t stop SupremeEx from flipping It.
Del the Funky Homosapien, “Proto Culture” Vs. Darkstalkers
Now, I’ll be the first to admit: even though it’s still “obscure” as far as mid-90′s hiphop is concerned, this is one of the more well known video game-sampling hiphop tracks. Not only does it sample Capcom’s influential 2D fighting game, Darkstalkers from 1994, but Del & rhyming accomplice Khaos Unique go one step further by rapping EXCLUSIVELY about video games on the entire track.
I was working with Del when this song came out in 2000, so I’m very fond of it. [bragging-writes](It’s also the song Del performed at the Sega Dreamcast American launch party in San Francisco in 1999 that YA BOY helped hook up, so, yahmeen…)[/bragging-writes] Peep the tracks!
Jay-Z, “Money, Cash, Hoes” Vs. Golden Axe
OK. I’m gonna throw a little bonus joint out there. I call it a bonus joint because I’m not 100% certain on this one. And Jay-Z is far from an obscure hiphop artist. But I’m almost positive this one’s a match: Swizz Beats sampled Golden Axe on the Sega Genesis for the 1999 Jay-Z/DMX track, “Money, Cash, Hoes”. Don’t believe me? Peep the evidence and let me know what you think:
Well, that’s it for this round of obscure rap records sampling obscure video games. Hope you enjoyed it. Tune in next time for more obscure bit beats.
UPDATE (07-27-2013): Shouts out to my mans Wayne Boothe at All Things All Things for hipping me to this video from SPIN magazine. All kinds of video game samples in it. Plus, I’m apparently getting confirmation on that Jay-Z / Golden Axe sample which is cool. Thanks, Boothe!
Karen over at The Peach just reminded me we launched the website on May 25th, 2000 — 10 years to the day. That’s crazy. I remember coding and designing the website for the launch from my old Orianna Street apartment in Philadelphia before moving first to San Francisco and later to Oakland to help directly with the website.
I first met Karen Dere when she became the merch goddess at Hieroglyphics.com in the late nineties.
In 1999, she had this crazy idea to spin off a new site that would focus on producing and distributing merchandise with the hiphop groups we personally knew. It would be a personalized experience for both the artists and the customer. This venture, she told me, would be called The Giant Peach: Because when you step inside, all your troubles disappear.
Karen asked that I design and help run this new site. Bet. I coded the site up and we launched 10 years ago today.
Of course, I need to give shouts to the groups we originally launched with and whom in many instances The Peach continue to have relations with: Quannum, Stones Throw, Ledisi, ABB Records, HipHop Slam, Definitive Jux, Live Human, Future Primitive. Karen, you done good.
I went digging in the crates and found a few pictures from the old, old, OOOOLD Giant Peach warehouse in South San Francisco from July 2001. Check em out (yo…that’s a Zip drive on top of that computer):
In 2001, the office was modest. Present day, The Giant Peach occupies a giant warehouse in Alamdea, CA.
[Above and below] The warehouse section of The Giant Peach in 2001
[Above] Paints for the screen printing application.
Above, the print carousel in the foreground where the clothing is arranged for screen printing.
My man Dan Amrich — former senior editor of GamePro, Official X-Box Magazine, World of Warcraft Magazine and a ton of other journalistic endeavors of the videogame-kind (spanning well over 16 years!) — has just been hired by Activision as their brand-spankin’ new Community Manager! Congrats, Dan!
One of Swords, his nom de Web, has just dropped Episode 001 of the brand new podcast featuring music by ya boy. Check it out here:
In 1999 we got up with Japanese MC, Shing02 to record the song, “Contact” for the Projecto: 2501 album.
Shing0′s verse is entirely in Japanese, but I just came across the lyrics translation he provided. Here it is, peep:
If existence itself is a part of fate,
Then is our music merely a faithful reproduction
Of a completed work from future dimensions…?
Indigestible information age melodrama,
the transparent majority will perish
Like nitrogen in the atmosphere,
and our hydrogen plus oxygen,
Also in imminent danger
Misled definition of culminating vocab on ethnic proportions
shapeless hope, strangely enough
Sonic recordings in coming years will be a memory of yester years
While repeating numerics punctuate time
After much anticipation, the ship takes off, never to return to earth
With contact lost and eternal darkness seeping into my bones
I found myself sending telegrams day and night but to no avail
A dead machine left me nothing
Too late to vent anger or to bring suit,
The only path left to fly is this narrow moment
A present that comes after future,
however the present is in the past
10-29… – Shing02