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The Featurings Game Round 1: R. Kelly and Pete Rock

Posted by Elijah on April 26, 2007

Gee, guess which one I’m the bigger fan of.

So, in case you’re not up on what the Featurings Game is, here’s the original explanation. Anyway, Nazty Fresh gave me one that honestly shouldn’t count, since R. Kelly isn’t a rapper, but I figured what the hell, let’s do it.

Now, the hard part about this one is that these two obviously travel in different spheres, plus according to my own rule it doesn’t count if the rapper doesn’t actually rap on said song, which rules out alot of artists who Pete Rock has worked with. What I’ve got helping me out, however, is that both of these guys have been recording for over a decade. So I took the Chocolate Boy Wonder to the Chocolate Factory in three steps (I get the feeling alot of them will be three) but once again this is off the top of my head, ’cause that’s more fun for me. It’s possible it could be done in two if I seriously researched it, but that’s not the point. If anyone else has a better, or interesting, connection, by all means comment.

Step 1: Fat Joe – “Make It Rain (remix)” featuring R. Kelly, Lil’ Wayne, Baby, T.I., Ace Mack & Rick Ross

So this is the one I’m putting up today that everyone’s heard; a fun posse cut if you’re in the mood for that kinda stupid mainstream shit (and I actually don’t mean that in a bad way). Can I just say that Kelly’s verse is the perfect example of how having a good voice lets him say whatever dumb shit he feels like? “Don’t ask me what my name is, stupid bitch I’m famous” shouldn’t sound that beautiful.

Just shot a video with R. Kelly, but no homo, though,
Really didn’t wanna do it, but I fuck with TS and Fat Joe-Joe, though.
– Lil’ Wayne, “Dipset” (otherwise known as “Reppin’ Time”)

Step 2: Big Pun – “Twinz (Deep Cover ’98)” featuring Fat Joe
Capital Punishment, 1998

Proof that 1998 was longer ago than it feels to me: can you imagine a big, video single from a record being a cover of a pre-Chronic Dr. Dre track? (I wonder if the snitch in that video is supposed to look like the Beastie Boys in “Sabotage”?) Anyway, it obviously isn’t hard to find a song with Fat Joe and Big Pun on it, but this one is a favorite of mine partly because of the flawless source material, partly because Pun fucking kills it (“Little Italy” is all I’ll say), and partly because Joe’s voice seems tailor-made to say “yeah, and you don’t stop!” Although I wonder why a guy who supposedly speaks Spanish pronounces the “g” in Cartagena like a dirty American. Too bad this song wasn’t engineered to take out all of Pun’s horrific fat-man-breaths… disgusting, and also tragic in light of his death.

Step 3: Pete Rock – “Verbal Murder 2” featuring Big Pun, Noreaga, & Common
Soul Survivor, 1998

And now you see why I was making the connection by way of a detour through Terror Squad. This is a great track, it flips the same sample from BDP’s “Illegal Business” and manages to fit a Common who was sliding towards consciousness into a pretty damn hard song (for some reason the back of the CD listed him as “Common aka Willie Stargell”). Dunno about “pack clips between my nuts and my fat dick” though, that sounds dangerous.

So there you have it, round one is finished. If you enjoyed this, or felt that this idea has the potential to be enjoyable, please leave me a pair to connect in the comments… or just comment. See ya next time, fools.


Posted in east, featurings game, midwest | 1 Comment »

The Featurings Game: Explanation

Posted by Elijah on April 20, 2007

Nobody ever mentions it, but I’m pretty damn sure that rap is the most collaborative genre of popular music, at least insofar as collaborations between separate acts/entities/whatever. You never see a rock record where a third of the songs has some other random-ass singer on them (unless it’s some kind of ridiculous Duets album). In fact, collaborations are SO commonplace in rap that we hip-hop heads are actually so spoiled as to complain about albums that have too many guests on them. I mean, I complain about it too, but you’ve gotta admit it sounds silly when you think about it.

Anyway, ya’ll know the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, yes? For quite a long time (longer than I’ll admit) I’ve been toying with the idea of a similar game, where two rappers are named and then I see, through features/groups/etc, how many songs it takes to connect them. So I thought it’d be a fun little thing to do here.

The rules are as follows: First of all, no connections because one rapper produced a song for another, they have to have rapped together. (The exception is if it’s said producer’s actual album, because the other rapper is still a featured guest.) It also doesn’t count if one rapper’s voice was sampled on another rapper’s track, or if one rapper did a cover of another’s track. Just collaborations or groups… maybe members of the same extended crew, we’ll see as we go. I’ll do my best to make the connections just off the top of my head, without researching it, but there are a few tiny gaps in my knowledge, (mainly involving rappers I really don’t like) so we’ll see.

As for your part, try to pick two who are very divergent either in terms of eras, geography, subject matter, etc, so that it’ll be a challenge. But don’t go picking some little underground person who only made one single and never collaborated (although, Kid Hood’s single verse on record is enough to connect him to anyone) ’cause that ain’t fair, but most anyone is allowed. Be creative, the more wild the combination the more I’ll probably enjoy it.

I’m going to allow anyone, even someone who isn’t on Blogger, to comment–hopefully we won’t get a shitload of spam. So just sound off in the comments with any good pairs you can think of, I’ll try to address any that are worth addressing, but if there are already a bunch maybe hold off for the next post and comment then. For today, I’m gonna just do a simple example to get the ball rolling, so without further ado:

T.I. and Big Daddy Kane
These two have been in my mind because of Noz’s recent comparison, I’m not sure I agree, but I see his point. Both are good looking, charismatic rappers who can get the female audience, but they can also each be lyrical monsters. One’s from Atlanta and one’s from Brooklyn, and their respective eras are very different, so I thought it’d be a neat little challenge at least for a start. I connected the King of the South and King Asiatic in three (off the top of my head that is, it’s possible it could be done in less).

Step 1: T.I.P. & Beanie Sigel – “Two Glock 9s”
Shaft Soundtrack, 2000

Before his first record, when he was first called T.I.P., a young T.I. did this fun, violent song with Beanie Sigel (originally found here) on the Shaft soundtrack. I wish I knew what brought about this collabo in the first place.

Step 2: Jay-Z – “Where Have You Been” featuring Beanie Sigel
The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, 2000

Obviously it isn’t hard to find a track where Beanie Sigel and Jay-Z work together, but this incredibly personal and haunting song from that Roc-A-Fella showcase album is by far my favorite example. When Sigel gets so overcome with emotion that he has trouble getting through his bars, the effect is incredible. Not every song with kids on the hook has to be “Hard Knock Life” or “I Can”.

Step 3: Big Daddy Kane – “Show & Prove” featuring Big Scoob, Jay-Z, ODB, Sauce Money & Shyheim
Daddy’s Home, 1994

From one of Kane’s not so successful attempts at a comeback album (although with a great cover) this posse cut features a pre-fame, pre-slow flow Jay-Z who pretty much jacks Das EFX’s style. The future “greatest rapper alive” doesn’t come off very well, but maybe that’s why Big Scoob opens the song–to make everyone else look good.

So that’s that, comments please.

Posted in east, featurings game, south | 2 Comments »