Street Corner Laced Rhymes and A Hard-Hitting, but Intricately Arranged Beat
|By AMIR SAID (SA’ID)|
Attitude. More specifically, the “hip hop attitude.” That’s one of the core components of any of hip hop culture’s four primary elements. And in O.C. and A.G.’s “2 For The Money” (beat by Showbiz), there is no shortage of attitude. Moreover, there’s no shortage of the components that comprise a dope song.
O.C., long one of the most surefire (but slept-on) lyricist to ever grab a mic, sets off “2 For The Money” with a bravado that can only be summed up as New York City confidence. O’s rhyme flow is as fluid as it is abrasive. And his lyrical content—always engaging—is as clever as it broken-glass serious. Then there’s A.G., every bit “street corner” and aggressive as O.C., but less agile and more direct.
Then there’s Showbiz on the beat. Here, the fellow D.I.T.C. brethren crafts one razor blade of a track. Showbiz’s arrangement on this beat is masterwork! He builds the core groove around bass piano chops. But the real standout work on this heater is how he uses horn and string chops to weave a structure that packs a powerful punch. The first horn sample is a quick 3-note phrase that jabs in and out. And then there’s the string samples. Dope! Showbiz uses several string samples. The first one dances up and down in a suspense-like fashion; it’s this string sample that’s prioritized during the first quarter of the verses in the song. The second string sample is an ascending, bottom-heavy string-horn phrase that carries a sustained whine after its crescendo. It’s this string-horn phrase that Showbiz uses to relieve the first string sample, at the midway mark of the verse. After the string-horn phrase gets burn for four bars, the first string sample returns, followed by one more 2-bar round of the string-horn phrase, which finally gives way to the climax: a subdued and sustain brass stab with all other music elements (drumork included) dropped out.
Finally, got a mention that the hook cuts on this song are served up by DJ Premier.
The music and video below is presented here for the purpose of scholarship.
O.C. & A.G. – “2 For The Money” (from Oasis, beat by Showbiz, featuring cuts by DJ Premier)Articles, Beat Breakdown, Beatmaking, Beatmaking Education, Beatmaking Practice, Beatmaking Themes, Theories, and Concepts, BeatTips, BeatTips MusicStudy, Book on How to Make Beats, Creating Your Own Drum Sounds, Customizing Drum Sounds, Drum Programming Techniques, Drum Sounds and Drum Programming, Arranging, and Composing, Features, Filtering Samples, Filtering Sounds, Hip Hop Production Techniques, Hip Hop/Rap Music Education, How to Create Your Own Drum Sounds, How to Make Beats, How to Trigger Samples, Music Education, Music Themes, Music Theory, and Music Concepts, MusicStudy, Programming Bass Lines, Programming Drum Fills, Programming Drums, Programming Hi-Hats, Programming Kicks, Programming Samples, Programming Snares, Recording Hip Hop, Mixing Hip Hop, Mastering Hip Hop, Recording, Mixing, and Mastering, Sa'id, Sample-Based Beats, Sampling, Sampling Drum Sounds, Sampling Drums, Sequencing Drums, Showbiz & AG, Sound Design, The Art of Rapping, The Art of Sampling, The BeatTips Manual, Using the Akai MPC 2500