Remix LP Cooks with Vintage Beatwork and Digger’s Classics
|Review By Amir Said (Sa’id)|
Ol Dirty Bastard has always been one of the most challenging rappers to remix. His rhyme style isn’t necessarily straightforward, and the rhythm of his style sounds more like a live rundown than a typical studio take. Needless to say, remixing Ol Dirty Bastard isn’t an easy task. Yet on Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Kung-Fu Genius, beatmaker E. Haywood not only makes it look easy, he also manages to present Ol’ Dirty Bastard in an entirely new context.
A number of the beats on Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Kung-Fu Genius feature the use of some familiar sample source material; however, Haywood shuns following the path of how some of these digger’s classics were used once before. Instead, he sets out to recontextualize the material, in a way that is fresh for those who’ve heard it before and very inviting for those who’ve yet to hear such gems.
The LP also features some solid arrangement and drumwork throughout. Typically, remix projects find beatmakers getting too much in the way of the vocals, offering up overstuffed arrangements and clumsy drum patterns that distract attention away from the vocals. On Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Kung-Fu Genius, Haywood—who’s clearly focused on showcasing his beatwork as with any other remixer—is more concerned with complimenting (even enhancing) O’l Dirty Bastard’s style than he is with simply using one of rap’s most enigmatic MCs to promote his beats. Indeed, none of the beats on Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Kung-Fu Genius feel forced. Everything—including the interludes between songs—give the impression of a well-thought plan. It’s also worth mentioning that Haywood tackles sampled-based and synthetic-sounds-based beatmaking styles with equal vigor; however, I believe that his sample-based offerings convey his real genius.
Finally, I want to point out that my favorite joint on Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Kung-Fu Genius is “Drunken Monks (ft. Tha Alkaholiks).” Here, Haywood drives the beat with a drum-bongo break that rolls over for two bars, before an elongated horn stab drops in. On the first sequence past, this horn stab is in two parts; then on the second go-round it’s three parts. Master arrangement work, Haywood really displays his strong sense of time, tone, and texture.
Bottom line: Thoughtful and well-conceived, Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Kung-Fu Genius demonstrates E. Haywood’s dope beatmaking abilities. Indeed, E. Haywood is a BeatTips Recognized Pro.
For educational purposes…
“Drunken Monks (ft. Tha Alkaholiks);” remix by E. Haywood
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