Side Effect was a Funk/Soul/Disco group out of Los Angeles. The never made it as big as their counter-parts – like The O’Jays or The Dramatics, but they had a decent following and were able to record 5 albums before disbanding. They were produced by Wayne Henderson, most known for his work with the Crusaders. Their 1981 album Portraits contains the cut “The Loneliest Man In Town“, which was sampled by Alchemist.
Al is no stranger to 80′s soul loops, so it’s no surprise he used the intro for his track with Nas and Prodigy – “Tick Tock“. The song appeared on his debut album 1st Infantry. The story goes that the song was originally going to appear on a Nas album, but it got cut. Luckily it surface here.
If you listen closely to the song, you can here the beat get lower and with less bass during Prodigy’s verse. Whoever engineered this one screwed up! Anyway, check out how Alchemist flipped the original.
Lucesita is a moderately famous singer from Puerto Rico. Part of her claim to fame is appearing on television shows on Telemundo. In a strange twist of fate, American TV legend Ed Sullivan was on vacation in Puerto Rico and caught a glimpse of her performance. He was so impressed with her voice, he invited her to perform in the US on his show. She still performs today. Her song “Yo Tengo Un Amigo” (You Have a Friend) was sampled by Alchemist for Prodigy’s “Veteran’s Memorial” off the H.N.I.C. album.
Alchemist is notorious for sampling Latin samples from the 1980′s and this is no exception. He flipped the intro of Lucesita’s cut while Prodigy rapped about his fallen soldier friends. Alchemist was a major part of what made H.N.I.C. so great. Check out the orignal.
Mobb Deep was my favorite group during the mid to late 1990′s. It’s a shame how far they’ve fallen since the days of The Infamous. A few months back, rumours swirled that Mobb Deep was about to break up after Havocsupposedly tweeted comments about Prodigy. Shortly after the tweet, Havoc released a statement saying that his phone was stolen and someone maliciously tweeted the message. Sources close to the situation mentioned a fight between between the two and Havoc having a drinking problem. Last week, Hav finally admitted in an interview with allhiphop.com that the tweet was him and Mobb Deep is on “indefinite hiatus”.
Before Mobb Deep’s demise, they recorded the album Murda Muzik which was leaked months prior to release. It’s what I consider to be the last good (official) Mobb Deep album. The beat for the Alchemist-produced “The Realest” was originally intended to be an interlude. However, Mobb Deep and Kool G Rap loved the beat so much, it became a full song on the album. The main loop was lifted from Ecstasy, Passion & Pain’s “Born to Lose You“.
Ecstasy, Passion & Pain was a disco/up-tempo soul group that had decent chart success with multiple singles. The group was an actual band, but most of their hits contained instrumenation from the oft-sampled Philly group M.F.S.B. A look at the liner notes will reveal some familiar faces among the production credits including Norman Harris, Bobby Eli, and Vince Montana. The most interesting name on the back cover is actually Ronald Foster, keyboardist for the group. You probably know him better as Ronnie Foster.
When You’re a Thug, you don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re“… All jokes aside, the story of rapper Tru Life is a sad one. The Puerto Rican MC from New York got his start in 1999/2000 with the single “When Your a Thug” featuring Queens legends Prodigy of Mobb Deep and Kool G Rap. The beat is credited to Mojoe, Tru-Life, and Alchemist. Not sure who did what, but the beat sounds like all Alchemist to me. His debut album was supposed to drop in 2001, but due to label issues, I’m not sure it was ever released.
Years later, Tru Life landed an audition with Jay-Z and was signed to Roc-a-Fella records for reported $1 million+. Unfortunately, in 2009 Tru-life got into some legal trouble (i.e. stabbing someone). He was sentenced to 8 years in prison. His parole hearing is in 2016. I’m not sure if he’s still signed to the Roc, but at this point, I doubt it. Regardless, check out his first single featuring a vintage Alc beat.
Marco Antonio Muniz is a famous artist from Mexico. He has several Latin American hits under his belt and has been sampled before (by the Beatnuts). He has recorded almost 80 albums, so it’s safe to say he probably has some other samples floating out there as well. The Alchemist used the intro for “Por Amor” for the classic Prodigy cut “Three” featuring Cormega.
Prodigy’s solo effort “H.N.I.C.” marked a new era in the sound of Mobb Deep (before they got wack and moved to G-Unit). The album was a classic and helped lay the ground work for future Prodigy solo albums and Alchemist collabos. For “Three“, Alchemist looped the intro, hard-panning the left and right channels to isolate the piano loop and the string loop. Check it out.