1/30/20

"Eric B. Is President" Extended DJ Screw Mix (and other slow delights)

For his time especially, Rakim's delivery has always been notably cool and calm, not necessarily slower than all of his peers but usually deeper in register. This makes the effect of screwing or otherwise slowing his music all the more stirring. Where some other MCs might sound slurred under this treatment, the God resonates like an actual ancient deity, the clarity and precision of his scrolls embedded in stone like commandments in tablets.

There are at least three Eric B. & Rakim songs with DJ Screw remixes, all of which you can hear on Long Island Rap's 6:31 'n the Mornin' tribute. In revisiting that compilation, I noted that none of those songs were particularly heavy on the chopping front. On closer inspection, I found that much of the scratching was reserved for songs that came before or after on the original Screw tapes. The song that had the most Screw flavor was "Eric B. Is President," mostly because Screw and his friends can be heard talking over it a bunch of times. Going back to 1995's Diary of the Originator Chapter 222: My Block, I heard more of the song on the subsequent track, Spice 1's "Fucked In the Game." In fact, the "Eric B. Is President" beat is so heavy in the mix for so much of that track, it's essentially a blend. That being the case, I decided to take about 50% of that track and attach it to the "Eric B. Is President" mix to create an extended Chopped + Screwed version, now with more chatting and chopping. Feel the purple ambience below. (Note I'm colorblind, so sorry if these photos are more blue or pink than purple.)


Of course, Screw isn't the only DJ who ever had the idea to slow down Rakim's music. DJ Crystal Clear has slowed and chopped all of Paid in Full and Follow the Leader. Both sound promising. There's also video of a DJ Grim Reefer remixing the first album as such. Perhaps truest to DJ Screw's spirit of tape hustling, however, is Pipomixes' Stoney B & Rakim, which he describes as "Rakim stoned-up, blended with all sorts of funky, slow beats." Replacing Michael Jackson's head with Pikachu smoking a Pok√© bong also goes a long way toward describing the sound here, I think.


R.I.P. DJ Screw who would be turning 49 this year.

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