I’m a junky for original versions. It’s not often that you find a classic hip-hop record that didn’t have an alternate version – for a multitude of reasons. It could be that once they had money they could afford better production to spruce the track up. It could be a matter of sample clearance, like Kanye’s All Falls Down that originally featured a Lauren Hill sample; however, more often than not, the original just wasn’t hitting, so once signed, the label took the steps necessary to make the track sound its best. This week we look at three originals and judge for ourselves.
Camp-Lo – Coolie High
Camp-Lo’s Uptown Saturday Night was a sleeper hit – a musical cult-classic of you will. Led by the infamous single Luchini, the duo came out the gate with a classic. Unfortunately (from a commercial standpoint) the duo faded fast, and although they’ve released music since, they never again reached Luchini heights. The song Coolie High was considered by many to be one of the dopest tracks on the album, and had they somehow gotten away with the sample of the original, they would have made a larger impact in my opinion. Take a listen for yourself.
Artifacts – Wrong Side Of The Tracks
Newark’s own Artifacts, the duo of El Da Sensei and Tame One, have one of the dopest hip-hop classics ever – in fact it’s one of my top 10 tracks ever in music. The demo version, however, is a whole different beast. It has a slight funk to it, and the infamous hook is sang by Brand Nubian rapper (and Vlad TV staple) Lord Jamar. We think they made the right choice in the end. Take a listen to the demo version for yourself.
Pete Rock CL Smooth – T.R.O.Y
This is it folks, possibly the greatest sample ever in hip-hop! Tom Scott’s Today – better known as the sexy sax Pete Rock flipped in his landmark record T.R.O.Y. The track made CL Smooth a star and certified Pete Rock’s place in the production game. The original though, didn’t have quite the same spice…take a listen for yourself!
Next week we’ll continue to explore some classic demos! Keep diggin’!