Rakim's "My Melody" Jazz Demo with DJ Maniack & Stevie Blass Griffin

In the 2018 edition of Rakim Week, I shared a two-part documentary by James "Kraze" Billings called Check Out My Melody. If you haven't already watched this in full, do that. If you have, you should remember the clip of the pre-Eric B. jazz version of "My Melody" that played at the start of the second part. How could you forget it? 

For years since that documentary came out, I've been hoping the full track would surface. Sadly, that still hasn't happened. However, earlier this year, Kraze posted the entirety of his interview with Rakim's early DJ and producer, DJ Maniack, portions of which appeared in the documentary. Here, Maniack shares his recollections of several iterations of "My Melody" that were recorded before before Eric B. and Marley Marl entered the picture. These include the aforementioned jazz version.

As DJ Maniack (pictured on the left, above) recalls, "Me and Griff [Rakim’s older brother Stevie “Blass” Griffin] had already made this jazz tune. Griff had invented this jazz tune. He taught me how to play this melody while he played the bass line, and then he played some chords on top of that while I added some DJ stuff, and it was a jazz tune — it was really hot. And Rakim came and laid the 'Melody' lyrics over that jazz tune and we recorded that… That was the second 'Melody.'"

Below you can watch the full interview with DJ Maniack and stream or download the 41-second clip of Rakim's "My Melody" jazz demo with musical accompaniment by Blass (pictured below) and Maniack.

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