WARMER MIXTAPES #720 | by Jonathan Legault [Style Shuts] of Ruth & Ellen, Loose Pistons and Ensemble Expression
1. Slum Village | Climax (Girl Shit)
As most beatmakers do, I Revere Dilla, his Style, his Rigorous Discipline and everything else about him . I remember the First Time I listened to Climax for it was the first time I listened to Dilla. It felt like something Really Precious and Beautiful came over me and Spoke to My Soul, and in a way I had just discovered the Essence of what was Soulful Beatmaking. I don’t know how many times I bumped my head to this beat but even to this day I believe it’s the reason why I started to make beats with a Seriousness and Dedication. Gotta love Dilla, he’s a True Inspiration and Light to a lot of us, and will continue to be for many long years to come.
2. Billie Holiday | Strange Fruit
Billie was one of the first Jazz vocalist I heard and that song in particular made my spirit cry several times. More than the references to Unjust Lynchings and the Horrible Consequences of Slavery in General, I felt that the melody of this song was Truly Haunting, Deeply Sad and Beautifully Touching. It may sound Depressing, but Sad Songs Always Touched My Heart and Soul and made me think about the World as what it can be or become Outside of the Comforts that Some Experience. In a way that song was Educational to me, Musically and Politically. It was covered many times, from Nina Simone to Robert Wyatt to Cassandra Wilson, and it’s still to me One of the Most Important Songs of the 20th Century.
3. Jonwayne | Mythology
I Love Free Mixtapes, and Jonwayne’s This Is False is one of my favorites. I remember listening to it For the First Time and Being Amazed by the beats and certainly the rhymes coming out of Jon’s mouth. Yet again I was charmed by the Wayne, not the Lil’ one. There was Dilla beats on there, FlyLo also and a bunch of other Talented and Shining Beatmakers, but I had never heard of Young Montana? until Mythology came on. The Sheer Manipulation of sSamples and Big Sound of the Track made me feel like I had once again discovered Something of Great Beauty, and For Free.
4. The Delfonics | Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)
I First Heard This Song in Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and thought it was One of the Most Beautiful Pop Songs I Ever Heard. I went to a local store and bought the Jackie Brown Soundtrack with Joy and Enthusiasm and Decided to Sample It. You can hear it on the Playing Doctor/Rival Love Bump 2 track on my Soundcloud page. I’m sure some folks find it Cheesy or Whatever, but I believe The Delfonics are up there with The Manhattans and All the Great R&B Artists of That Period. That chorus in Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time) is Simply Amazing and the Arrangements are So Luscious.
5. John Coltrane | A Love Supreme: Part 1 - Acknowledgement
Speaking Again About Jazz, Coltrane is One of my Heroes and a Truly Inspiring Musician. I bought A Love Supreme early on in my Jazz Discoveries Period and it’s still to this day One of my Favorite Albums. It’s Spiritual, Musically Interesting, Very Well Produced and the sounds coming from Coltrane’s Horn hold a Great Spiritual Energy and Feeling, as in any other of his records, but A Love Supreme represents a Turning Point in his Evolution as well as a Turning Point for Me Musically, it Opened Up the Gates of Jazz for me, it Opened Them Real Wide and God Bless Coltrane for That.
6. Bob Dylan | Masters Of War
What can I say, Bob Dylan’s the Man, or Used To Be at least. Masters Of War, in its Simplicity, Holds So Much Power. The First Time I heard the Song and its Lyrics was an Awakening and a Truly Iinspiring One. Obviously, it’s an Anti-War song, but done in that way, Musically Deprived of all Unnecessary Fiddling Around the Chords and Stuff, was Real Powerful to me. It was Violent and Real, a just Critique, a Man with his Guitar Speaking the Truth, and still to this day I Bow Down to the Genius of this Song.
7. De La Soul | Rock Co.Kane Flow (feat. MF DOOM)
Man, that’s a Banger. I Always Loved Jake One’s Production, but when I heard this beat I really thought That Was It, it Was Over, that was the Best Beat Ever or at least Very Close To It. De La Soul are an Interesting Group and we’re Very Lucky they’re still around making Honest and Passionate Hip-Hop for Us to Enjoy. I was just getting into MF when I heard this track off The Grind Date and it was So Cool to hear him rhyme with The Plugs on that joint, I remember thinking to myself that That Was It, the Perfect Hip-Hop Song, and I was Glad I heard it so Early On.
8. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib | Shame (feat. BJ The Chicago Kid)
To say I Love Madlib would be an Understatement. He’s One of the Best Producers Out There Today and a Legend to a Lot of Us Beatmakers of the Raw School. When I First Heard he was going to collaborate with Gibbs, I didn’t even have to wonder if it was going to be Good or Not, that’s How Great Madlib is, I Knew Instinctively it was Going To Be Amazing. I chose this song in particular for the sample taken from The Manhattans, which is So Good and a Perfect Choice for Gibbs Lyrical Style, Bringing a Lusciousness to the Beat, Making the Gangster Lifestyle Feel a Lot More Glamorous Than It Really Is. After Madvillain, Madlib’s collab with DOOM, I Didn’t Think He Could Excel So Profundly Again in the Collaboration Field but I Was Wrong, and Madlib’s Always Right.
9. Evian Christ | Fuck It None Of Y’All Don’t Rap
The Story’s Simple, I was on Pitchfork Reading About New Artists and I stumbled upon an article about Evian Christ, I Had Never Heard of the Guy Before, but went on and listened to his stuff and the Rest is History. I Loved His Style Ever Since and this song Represents Best What I’d Love to Do in the Future in Terms of Esthetic Beatmaking, Fuck It None Of Y’All Don’t Rap Speaks For Itself Sonically, and we will surely hear more from Evian Christ in the Future, I Surely Hope So. Go and Cop the free mixtape Kings And Them from this guy, it’s Crazy.
10. Madvillain | Fancy Clown
Another Madlib joint, from his Madvillain project with MF DOOM. There was a Stones Throw contest some time ago asking fans to make videos for songs out of the Stones Throw catalog and I remember the video of this guy Dressed Like a Blown Gigging a Hole to Bury Himself Alive, it was a video for Fancy Clown. I Love This Song, the Melancholic Feel of the Beat and Rhymes and the video was Perfectly Representing All of That. Madvillainy is a Modern Classic and most of us still Bow Down to its Genius, Fancy Clown is a Great Song amongst others featured on the LP.