Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Rhymes of Our Lives

Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock - "It Takes Two"

I was seven when this song came out; a time in my life when hip hop had fallen off my radar. Fortunately for me, this track became one of the most celebrated records in hip hop history, and rocked house parties, basement parties, and night clubs from its release in 1988 until well into the first decade of the 21st century. (I'm sure it's still being spun today!) I would argue this is one of the few rap tracks that's truly been enjoyed by more than one generation of hip hoppers.

I would suggest this song has been successful primarily due to its use of a sample from a song by Lyn Collins called "Think (About It)". Lyn was a protégé of James Brown and recorded with him throughout the 1970s. In fact, the instrumentation for "Think (About It)" was played by Brown's band, The J.B.'s. The section used by Rob Base and E-Z Rock contain those wonderfully syncopated "Woo! Yeah!" shouts from Brown himself. The sample has become so famous that it's become its own entity apart from the original song. (See this!)

I haven't been to a club in some time. I probably wouldn't know how to act anymore. But when I do, the dj better play "It Takes Two" or I'm asking for my money back. On the real...


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