Have you heard of Animal Farm? And no, I’m not talking about the controversial (one-time banned) George Orwell novel. I’m talking about the Hip Hop group out of Portland, Oregon. If not then fret not. We have got a bit of a treat for you, as the five of them have kindly taken the time to do our little musical interview. But before you get to their choices, listen to their track ‘Test Of Time’ which features Talib Kweli who is easily one of my favourites. This song came to my attention thanks to the daily RCRD LBL mailout some time ago and it’s been getting a steady rotation since. A funky sample and a great lyric/flow adds up to a song that you will listen to plenty! We actually featured it a little while back, but seeing as we’re so generous here’s another listen.
The guys have just released their newest single and you can listen to it here. If you like it, then follow the link to their Soundcloud page and get it free.
Animal Farm – Culture Shock Feat. Rob Swift
Just after the drop we’ve got the guy’s choices and there are some right good eggs in there. I reckon my favourite is probably Fury’s choice. But I’m a sucker for Q-Tip…
Da Bush Babees – 3 MCs Feat. Q-Tip
This song influenced me because of its summertime party vibe and reference to the old school in the title and the hook. It features Q-Tip, and one of the group’s members, Y-Tee sings a dance hall style. The format of ‘3 MC’s’ is three MC’s doing four bars and Y-Tee singing the last section of the sixteen bar verse. The back and forth raps with the hard beat and featuring iconic Q-Tip, makes this song one of my all time favorites.Plus the hook captures that vibe successfully… Another Native Tongue Classic.
Hanif Wondir’s Choice:
Stevie Wonder – Maybe Your Baby
I grew up with Talking Book playing in my house all the time and this joint always stood out. To me it really set the tone for the album and was a real funky punch to the face. He had a good attitude, even if his lady was with another dude!
Fun heartbreak… YAAAAY!
Serge Severe’s Choice:
Wu Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.
Cash Rules Everything Around Me. Money makes the world go around, so no truer acronym could have been fresher than Wu Tang’s track C.R.E.A.M. I love the usage of the grimy old sample based production of The RZA, and the new slang from the Wu members of 94′ couldn’t have come a better time. The originality, and unknown new style of the Clan, hit the industry like a lightning bolt. This single really helped set it off for their first album and is widely accepted as a classic Hip Hop song. Their influence and individualism of all the members street savvy rhymes are the essence of New York Hip Hop.
NaS- I Gave You Power
Although Organized Konfusion’s ‘Stray Bullet’ came first, Nas raps from the similar perspective of a gun in this resonating tale. This song still gives me the chills to this day, as I hear Nasty Nas speak about being forced to murder, despite his own objections, claiming “So I beg for next owner to be a thoroughbred / Keeping me filled up with hollow heads”. Combine the picturesque storytelling with a real simple, but emotional piano driven beat from DJ Premier, and you’ve got yourself a classic.
This song was a major influence for me musically. It was created by Mix Master Mike, DJ Qbert and DJ Shortkut in the mid 1990’s. It’s composed primarily from scratch, meaning that all of the music you hear is being created manually by the deejays manipulating the records. Although it is most impressive when seen in the live video format, it’s also pretty entertaining to just listen to. The song is about thirteen minutes long in all and goes through several distinct movements, each showcasing different scratch techniques. Mostly, the influence I drew from this song was the idea that turntables could be used for far more than just playing music. I used to watch the video over and over again in between cut sessions to boost my inspiration. Just straight up, raw hip hop. I still listen to it all the time!