Jackin’ For Beats 2 – What Beats Would You Choose For A Remake Of Ice Cube’s Classic – A question was recently posed to us on our facebook page “If Ice Cube were to make Jackin For Beats today what beats would he use?” At first this seemed like an easy question for anyone to answer, since most hip hop fans have their favorite beats and therefore would just list their own top ten and be done with it. Well that’s what I did, but then thought about it and added some more. My list slowly grew to 20 tracks, then more, and more, and more were added. I asked everyone here at Back In The Day for some suggestions and the list grew longer. Soon there were too many beats to reasonably think could be sampled in one song and I’m pretty sure Cube would prefer to keep an updated version of the song to less than 3 minutes. So I went back to my original premise of picking my favorite beats but sticking to the artists that everyone knows and trying to capture the beats that, when you hear them, you know exactly what it is. And full disclosure: my “hip hop knowledge” is anything that came out prior to 2002, after that I really shied away from much of the hip hop that was out there. The good thing is we are Back In The Day and most of our readers will be more familiar with the beats I chose, considering all of them were released in the last 15 years.
Quick history lesson: “Jackin For Beats” was released in 1990 on Ice Cube’s “Kill AT Will”, an EP which came out on the heals of one of the classic hip hop albums, Cube’s debut “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted”. Production for the song was handled by Chilly Chill with co-production credit given to Ice Cube and Sir Jinx. The track sampled 24 separate songs ranging from classics by Booker T. & the M.G.’s (“Hip Hug-Her”) and Bobby Byrd (“I Know You Got Soul”) to contemporary tracks from Public Enemy (“Welcome To The Terrordome” and “Rebel Without A Pause”), EPMD (“So Wat Cha Sayin”), X-Clan (“Heed The Word Of The Brother”), Digital Underground (“Humpty Dance”), D-Nice (“Call Me D-Nice”), LL Cool J (“Big Ole Butt”), and N.W.A. (“100 Miles and Runnin”). The song contained 6 separate samples from James Brown tracks. A full list of samples can be found here. What is now a common practice of spitting verses over another artists song was brought to the mainstream by Ice Cube on this track. Nowadays a Funkmaster Flex or a Sway & Tech produce full albums and radio shows with this feature.
So after looking closely at the beats sampled, I wanted to try and encompass everything that we loved about hip hop from the 90’s and early 2000’s. I also wanted to make sure that all aspects of hip hop: east coast, west coast, southern, and mid west, were covered in an updated version. Cube and Chilly Chill used only east coast and west coast samples for the original but hip hop has become a world wide phenomenon and more importantly represent the entire U.S. post 1990. With that in mind, this is the list of artists and beats I would sample:
Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.
Biggie – Juicy
2Pac – To Live And Die In L.A.
Jay-Z – Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)
Nas – It Ain’t Hard To Tell
Mobb Deep – Shook Ones Pt. II
Master P -Make Em Say Uhh
Dr. Dre – Forgot About Dre
Eminem – My Name Is
Geto Boys – Mind Playin’ Tricks On Me
Outkast – Player’s Ball
Cypress Hill – Insane In The Brain
Onyx – Slam
Gang Starr – DWYCK
Snoop Dogg – Gin And Juice
Goodie Mob – Cell Therapy
2 Live Crew – Pop That Pussy
KRS-One – MC’s Act Like They Don’t Know
Pete Rock & CL Smooth – They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)
That’s my list and I’m sure I left out something so let the argument begin! We can all point out better songs or even better beats by some of these artists but no one can contend that this list of 19 tracks are some of the most revered songs in hip hop history from the last 25 years. For example I am not a Master P fan at all but everyone knows “Make Em Say Uhh” so when you here it on a track, you recognize the beat. I made sure all of these tracks were released after “Jackin’ For Beats” came out in December of 1990 and contain many of the greatest producers of that time period. These are the beats I would “Jack”, not sure if they are the same Cube would choose, but they’d make a damn good song. Now the question is passed to you – What beats would you choose? Hit us up here at Back In The Day and let us know which tracks you would choose. Who knows, maybe Cube will read this post and get working on “Jackin’ 4 Beats 2”.
Jackin’ For Beats 2 – What Beats Would You Choose For A Remake Of Ice Cube’s Classic