Saturday, June 6, 2009
Speed: 85 bpm
Mix this one with: Big Poppa - Notorious BIG
The DJ’s Take: This one’s a crowd favorite, and it’s getting even more popular because of a recent Heineken commercial. Not much to say about it - goofy character delivers fun, simple lyrics you can sing along to. Put it in your rotation and play it when everyone’s good and happy.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Speed: 93 bpm
Mix this one with: One More Chance (Remix) - Notorious BIG ft. Faith Evans, Real Love - Mary J. Blige
The DJ’s Take: Don’t get me wrong - I like living in the Boston area, but we either get all the good music months later than NYC, or not at all. Inexcusable for a supposedly major metropolitan area. Anyway, thanks to the Internet, I can still find stuff like this, play it on the weekend, and prove I am capable of more than just mixing Britney Spears and Flo Rida (apologies to real DJs who just cringed at that combo). Hot track, and definitely capable of making people move, even the ones who didn’t hear it on JAMN Nine Foh Five.
Download the MP3: No Games
Speed: 95 bpm
Mix this one with: One More Chance (Remix) - Notorious BIG ft. Faith Evans, No Games - Serani
The DJ’s Take: They call her the queen of hiphop & R&B, and this was the first major track that showed us why she deserves the title. Upbeat piano riff + the drums used in Audio Two’s classic Top Billin = Early 90s Anthem. If you’re a DJ, you have to pick your crowd for this one, but you should be alright if you mix it in with my recommended tracks (see above).
There’s also a remix sampling Betty Wright and featuring Notorious BIG, which I’d argue is even hotter than the original. Click on this link to listen to the whole track and cop the vinyl at UndergroundHipHop.com.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Speed: 92 bpm
Mix this one with: Blame It - Jamie Foxx ft. T-Pain, Can’t Deny It - Fabolous ft. Nate Dogg
The DJ’s Take: I used to bump this in my car on the way to tennis practice back in ~1996. And that tells you all you need to know about the universal appeal of hiphop back then - even well-to-do suburban kids like me could get down with it. Also, you can never deny Lauryn Hill’s vocals.
Lot of people think this is a remake of an original Roberta Flack song, but Flack’s version is actually a remake of Lori Lieberman’s original. Yes, this is hard-hitting research and analysis you will not find anywhere else. Anyway, this track is a classic, plain and simple. Download it to your iPod and put it on repeat.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Speed: 86 bpm
The DJ’s Take: Call me a hater - I’m not feeling his hat, and the voice is a little too high for me. Regardless, he sings and he writes, so he gets my respect. This one still gets people moving and fits in with a lot of tracks in the 80-85 bpm range. I call this an FEA (Female Empowerment Anthem), which can only mean good things when you put this on in a room full of well-dressed Miss Independents.
Btw, check out his mugshot without the hat - I’m guessing that’s not going on his next album cover.
Download the MP3 on iTunes:
Speed: 92 bpm
Mix this one with: Real Love - Mary J. Blige, No Games - Serani
The DJ’s Take: One of those rare instances where the remix is infinitely more famous than the original. Smooth and refined, legendary piano loop, and blessed with a classic performance from arguably the greatest rapper of all time. So influential, in fact, that ~8 years after this came out, R&B artist Ashanti launched her career by singing over the exact same beat.
Download the MP3: One More Chance/Stay With Me Remix [Explicit]
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Speed: 98 bpm
Mix this one with: Let Me Love You - Mario, Magnificent - Rick Ross ft. John Legend
The DJ’s Take: Back in the day, all you needed was a thumping beat, a pounding bassline, and a charismatic MC to make a hit. This track takes Eric B & Rakim’s classic Paid In Full beat and adds some elegance in the instrumental to accommodate the grown and sexy. I’m not a big Lloyd or Lil Wayne fan, but this is solid.
Speed: 95 bpm
Mix this one with: Magnificent - Rick Ross ft. John Legend, Girls Around The World - Lloyd ft. Lil Wayne
The DJ’s Take: #1 song in the country a few years ago, and a top notch contemporary R&B track. It’s very smooth and has a good bridge too. Mix it in with my recommended tracks above for something chill that you can still move to.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Speed: 92 bpm
Mix this one with: Let Me Love You - Mario, Girls Around The World - Lloyd ft. Lil Wayne
The DJ’s Take: Not a big Rick Ross fan, and this track didn’t exactly convert me. That said, the beat is like velvet and John Legend on the hook is like money in the bank. I also like the fake xylophones. Good for the beginning or end of a long night.
Speed: 82 bpm
The DJ’s Take: This is about as chill as it gets. We need to reduce the pop rap consumption and demand more quality R&B from our artists and record companies. Probably not going to make the Hot 100 or get any club play, but I spun this last weekend in the middle of the night and people were feeling it. And my bar is definitely not one of those chill Manhattan lounges with tables and bottles. You just have to mix this in the right way with other stuff in the 80-85 bpm range.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Speed: 69 bpm
Mix this one with: Big Pimpin - Jay-Z ft. UGK
The DJ’s Take: This is one of those tracks where you hear it on the radio and you say to yourself, “I need to download this for next weekend.” The business of predicting what the public will like isn’t easy, but I think a lot of DJ’s saw this one coming. Chill Beat + Stuttered Thump = Hit. There’s also the popular Crookers Remix (130 bpm), in case you want something more clubby and up-tempo.
Download the MP3: Day 'N' Nite, Day 'N' Nite [Crookers Remix]
Speed: 69 bpm
Mix this one with: Day N Nite - Kid Cudi
The DJ’s Take: The video may be a little inappropriate for the youth, but this is one of Timbaland’s greatest beats ever. Around 2000, there was a mini-movement in hiphop towards Middle East influences (remember Oochie Wally?), and this track is like a historical landmark that people can still get down to.
fyi, Interesting youtube video on Timbaland’s liberal Middle Eastern sampling through the years.