Song Of The Day 9/20/2014: Bobbi Humphrey - "Jasper Country Man"



Hip Hop Samples: Sewing up this week is one of the songs layered into "New Jack Hustler" from Ice-T, the first rap artist I ever became a big fan of. Ice's track was on his 1991 album O.G. Original Gangster and, lest you forget because I never will, his leading-role debut flick New Jack City. Which was a very underrated movie where Ice played a vice cop fighting a crack lord. Judd Nelson was in it. Ice was a take-no-BS, undercover detective chasing after retribution for his mother's death. Judd was Ice's partner, a cocksure swagger vehicle who's barely able to contain his abeyant, casual racism. Then one of their stings goes south. Tragedy happens. Both warriors are swiftly redelivered to the origins of their souls, somberly forced to triangulate their provocations and methodologies, and it's at this reflective juncture where Nelson's character, Nick Peretti, drops his chirocosmetic toughness and issues his new insight into contraband activities: "This whole drug shit -- it's not a black thing, it's not a white thing. It's a death thing." So put that in your pipe and sm... um, consider that remark privately for a minute.

"New Jack Hustler" has got tons going for it thanks to massively underrated producer DJ Aladdin. One of my favorite musical figures in hip hop is in the refrain. There's an electric piano playing a casual, lowball funk line, and then a super-low, barely discernible bass wave that's almost chaotic. It sounds like a rumbling from the dealer's subconscious that knows he's muddied up all his philosophies and screwed himself into a corner. ("Goddamn! You got me sinking in quicksand!") That electric piano comes from funk flautist Bobbi Humphrey's "Jasper Country Man," a pretty flawless funk jam in itself, and it's by somebody playing a flute. A flute, I tell you. Don't ever whine to me again that you can't overcome your limitations.


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