Monday, March 28, 2005

If I Run Outta Shots I'm Going Out Poking


Rap and The Beatles combine like Kahlua and milk (w/o Vodka, it's called a "sombrero"). Ask Dangermouse. So when my compadre Ben aka Beng Bentley suggested I pen a Beatles themed week, I did him one better. I suggested he pen it and learn me something. So if the word is weird from here on out, blame Ben and spare me. If it is fine wine, praise him and I'll take my 15%. This week, my thoughts come in Bold typeface.

And shouts to the fantastic Steady Bootleggin' for the link. Can't wait for Part 10.

The year: 1998. The location: Seton Hall University, located on the border of South Orange & Newark, New Jersey. [Big-ups L-Boogie] Killing time on a Saturday afternoon in my cinderblock, communist-style dormitory, probably high, I'm knocked out of my malaise by a wicked piano riff eminating from tinny TV speakers. 'Damn that’s a hard break' I think to myself. Spinning around, I see the four familiar faces of everyone’s favorite Scousers.
[Brit-slang, look it up] Not exactly being the Beatles' freak that I’ve evolved into, I’d never heard the song before. The video [one of many industry innovations they pioneered] featured studio footage, and had a little animated dog running rampant. Turns out this was the last of the
legendary Lennon/McCartney collaborations, recorded after the White Album but before the disastrous Let It Be sessions and was released on the Yellow Submarine Soundtrack though never included in the film. For years it was a little known gem amongst Beatlemaniacs. I shook my head at the ferocity of the track and thought 'If I ever make a rap song, I’m using that break.' (ed: Thankfully, Ben did not.)

Fast forward to late 2001 and wouldn't’t you know, Philly’s own musical geniuses's The Roots beat me to it, adding some classic b-boy bongos to make a certified banger. Originally slated for release on Black Thought’s shelved solo album Masterpiece Theater, 'Thought at Work' eventually surfaced on Phrenology along with a number of other reworked BT solo tracks
sans the Beatles break in favor of a baritone saxophone [D'oh! EMI clears no-one.] Thankfully The Roots have kept the original track in their performance arsenal, giving Thought another chance to absolutely rip the stage. [Dude does not get the MC credit he deserves.]

Included below are the original, the album version and a live version recorded at the Bonaroo Music Festival in Tennessee, June 14, 2003. Pull it out your pocket, pull it out your pocket, pull it out your pocket......

The Roots: Thought At Work (Original Version) (MP3) (Buy It)
The Roots: Thought At Work (Album Version) (MP3)
The Roots: Thought At Work (Live Version) (MP3)


At 1:20 PM, Blogger Schoolyard said...

Good looks on a really hot track from Black Thought! Nice reworking of the original Apache beat. Definitely prefer the original version better.

At 4:59 PM, Blogger chronwell said...

Hey RN this has to be one of the finest examples of post 2000 mceeing one can here especially the original. WHOA!Black THought smash u sissies!

At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not quite sure what beatles break you're talking about, but i always thought "thought at work" was a cover of the kool g rap & dj polo classic "men at work." do they use the beatles break in the g rap song also?

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Beatles break is the 2 measures of piano/guitar at the begining of the original Black Thought version. The drums are lifted from the Kool G Rap original which does not sample the Beatles.

Bengo Starr

At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good lookin on that live joint!


At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks bennifer you have shed so much light on this. dub me the original version.


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