Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sampletastic: Lil Wayne & A Tribe Called Quest

Unbeknownst to most, the sound behind one of the biggest hip hop records of the year derives its sample from one of hip hop's most influential and respected groups. The song is Weezy F. Baby's 808-laden, screwed vocal looping pantheon display of bravado known simply as "A Milli." Tribe comes into the picture because the "a milli-milli" that gets repeated ad nauseum comes from the super-rare Vampire Mix of "I Left My Wallet In El Segundo." While they make strange bedfellows, somehow when the forces combine it's like Captain Planet ("The power. Is YOURS!") and it becomes a purveyor of greatness. Someone on put up a comprehensive breakdown of this amalgamated anomaly on YouTube. Peep game:

If that didn't make your head explode, congrats. It's so simple it's mind boggling. Along the same vein, it's beyond me why they even needed a sample to create that. Bangladesh could have just as easily gotten Lil Wayne to say "a-milli" into the mic 8768437534 times and then slowed it down. It seems like it would have achieved the same result - but hey, what do I know about music production?

And while we're on the subject of Bangladesh, apparently he wasn't the only producer who worked on "A Milli" but he's getting all the credit. Chicago-bred/ATL-based producer Cha-Lo is said to have had a significant hand -as co-producer to be exact- in crafting the track, but they're straight giving him the hard, sandpapery shaft and there's nothing he can do. That's the music industry for you...