Well its the return of ‘Drop On A Classic’ after a long hiatus due to many factors but now your fix is back. So continuing on with the Native Tongues series this time around its the ‘Jungle Brothers’. A great group with a lot to offer musically but seem to have been over looked compared to other native tongues posse members(in some respects), by critics and the like. Right so lets get down to it with breaking down the group and of coarse the samples section which is going to be fun for all, sit back and get ready to expand ya knowledge even more peoples.
The Jungle Brothers are a hip hop trio who formed in mid 1980’s consisting of Michael Small (Mike Gee), Nathaniel Hall (Afrika Baby Bam, a homage to Afrika Bambaataa) and Sammy Burwell (DJ Sammy B). Even from the early days inspiration and musical camaraderie were in no short supply for the group having attended high school with Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad as well as Mike Gee’s uncle being the heavily influential DJ Red Alert.
In 1988 the group released their first album ‘Straight out the Jungle‘ on independent label ‘Warlock’. This album marked the start of the Native Tongue’s movement which eventually included a host of quality artists most of which I have already covered in these articles. In 1989 the album broke more ground with the addition of an extra track called ‘I’ll House You’, this track was one of the first instances of the genre of hip hop and house music blending together outside of the then thriving Chicago house scene. The track s also the only track on the album not produced by the group, it was infact produced by legendary house DJ/producer Todd Terry. Some say that this record changed the way hip hop and the dance music industries worked but in truth I have nothing to back that statement up with but if you (the reader) want to elaborate then please feel free to drop a comment. Also in 1990 with the release of the album on CD saw another additional track called ‘The Promo’ debuting Q-Tip.
Music Video for ‘I’ll House You’
Though their first album was not a commercial smash hit the group then went onto sign with Warner Brothers and in November of 1989 the groups second album ‘Done By the Forces Of Nature‘ was released. Recording sessions for the album took place in 1989 at Calliope Studios in New York City, and production was handled by the Jungle Brothers. It was mixed at Apollo Studios by Kool DJ Red Alert and the Jungle Brothers. The album’s title may refer to a line from the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture, wherein Krishna says “Those who are deluded by the illusive power (Maya) of Nature become attached to the work done by the forces of nature,”. The album peaked at 46 on the US billboard charts and received widespread praise among critics, praising its Afrocentric themes, witty lyrics, funk-based sampling, and house-influenced production. It seems to be little mentioned by music lovers of today, though to me it strikes a chord as I’m sure it does with others.
The Jungle Brother stayed relatively quiet after their second release only recording a track called ‘I Get a Kick’ for Red Hot Organizations tribute to Cole Porter album called ‘Red Hot + Blue‘. So after their 4 year hiatus the group released their 3rd album ‘J Beez wit the Remedy‘ in 1993. The album was the result of much label trouble, where Warner Bros. constantly rejected the group’s offerings. The album in gestation was originally titled “Crazy Wisdom Masters” and features some considerably experimental hip-hop for the time, as well as production from Bill Laswell. But tragedy struck while in the process of mixing down the album the masters mysteriously vanished from their studio so work had to stsrt allover again which to this day I would think is still a source of frustration for the group. The final album is considerably normal-sounding, the experimental tracks are still in evidence, especially near the end on tracks such as “Spittin’ Wicked Randomness.” Over the years bootleg copies of ‘Crazy Wisdom Masters’ have popped up here and there on the net proof that the masters are still out there I couldn’t imagine how frustrating this must be for the JB’s but I’m interested to find out more (please leave your theories on this in the comments box if you so inclined).
Tracks below are from a bootleg of ‘Crazy Wisdom Masters’
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Troopin-On-The-Down-Lo.mp3″ text=”Jungle Brothers – Troopin On The Down Low ” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/04-Hedz-At-Company-Z.mp3″ text=”Jungle Brothers – Headz At Comanpy Z” dl=”0″]
Though even with a sizable amount of promotion from their record label Warner Bros the album still didn’t make a huge commercial impact maybe their content didn’t connect with the wider audiences. Maybe at that time hip hop heads were heavily focused on other contemporaries who released albums that year like Wu-Tang, 2pac, Onyx, Cypress Hill and Souls of Mischief to name but a few, but who knows I don’t claim to have the suitable knowledge to elaborate further.
So after the commercial disappointment and label struggles. Warner Bros dropped the group who then went onto sign with UK record label Gee Street records. So in 1997 the group released ‘Raw Deluxe‘. At the time Gee Street had a distribution deal with Island/PolyGram records but at this time it was bought by Richard Branson so Raw Deluxe became the first release by V2/BMG under the Branson record label empire. (please correct me if I’m wrong though). The group also released their album ‘V.I.P’ with Gee Street in 2000. Alex Gifford of the Propellerheads was on production for that album and also during this time the group also lent their talents to 2 Propellerheads tracks “Take California (And Party)” and “You Want It Back‘.
Since the release of V.I.P the group has released 3 more projects 2 of which I haven’t listened to myself so I couldn’t comment on them, and the other being their greatest hits release ‘This Is..’. It was a double album release with rarities and remixes by the likes of The Wiseguys, Urban Takeover, Natural Born Chillers and Stereo MCs. Currently the don’t seem to be doing work together anymore but don’t quote me there. Afrika Baby Bam is currently pursuing many different projects including a movement called ‘The Pagan Society’ as well as starting his own productions company Raven’s Claw. Mike Gee I have no clue what he’s up to now lol. But I do know that Dj sammy b is going to be releasing some stuff soon as well as DJing regularly.
Okay so before we hit up the samples section there is a four part interview below with Afrika Baby Bam talking about a whole spectrum of things about the group, influences, and so on so check it. Unfortunately I was unable to find an interview with the group as a whole so if anybody out there knows of one drop a link in the comments box. The interview comes courtesy of breakbeatsradio.com which is hosted by none other than ‘Rebels To The Grain‘.
CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO VIEW
• SAMPLES •
Okay so now the samples usual drill for more info on the artists sampled click the picture to check their wiki entry. For this section I have just chosen a few of my favorite tracks to keep it simple especially with the huge amount of work these guys have in their catalogue. So read on listen and enjoy!
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/03-Black-is-black.mp3″ text=” Jungle Brothers – Black is Black” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=” http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/01-Sport.mp3″ text=” Lightnin Rod – Sport” dl=”0″] …………………………. [wpaudio url=” http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/13.-The-Meters-9-til-5.mp3″ text=” The Meters – 9’till 5″ dl=”0″]
Maan this track has so much funk the Lightnin Rod track provides the basic drum beat for the track as well as the trumpets that kick in right from the very start, it can’t really be missed on the JB’s track so have a listen. Sport is also used by countless other hip hop artists like Black Moon and Smif -N-Wessun most of them mainly for that lil drum break right at the start. The Meter’s sample is pretty obvious too and adds a lovely bit of funk to the song but I am unable to find out who else has sampled the track. Also as i’m sure you canhear when listenening to ‘black is black’ there are a few little samples in there firstly the use of a little bit of Gil Scott-Heron’s track ‘The Bottle’ and if you listen near the end there is a tiny vocal sample of Prince’s song ‘Controversy.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/07-Im-In-Love-With-Indica.mp3″ text=”Jungle Brothers – I’m In Love With Indica” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/07-Supermarket-Blues.mp3″ text=” Eugene McDaniels – Supermarket Blues” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/10.-come-in-out-of-the-rain.mp3″ text=” Parliament – Come In Out of The Rain” dl=”0″]
Well the Eugene McDaniels sample is pretty easy to find so it leaves no explanation really but a crying shame that the man himself passed away this year but his great music lives on for us all to gain inspiration from. His track is also used by Madlib and by People Under the Stairs. The Parliement track also provides the great drum break for the track and has been used by others like Nas and OutKast all for that tasty drum break.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/02-Feelin-Alright.mp3″ text=”Jungle Brothers – Feelin Alright” dl=”0″]
The use of the cameo track is simple enough just the drum beat with a little bit of the guitar looped to provide the basis for the track. Its also used by other artists such and Heavy D (RIP) and Brand Nubian to similar effect.
[wpaudio url=” http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/10-Good-Lookin-Out.mp3″ text=” Jungle Brothers – Good Lookin Out” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/05-Let-Us-GoTo-Higher-Heights.mp3″ text=” Carlos Garnett – Let Us Go To Higher Heights” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/06-A-Dance-A-Kiss-And-A-Song.mp3″ text=”Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – A Dance, A Kiss & A Song” dl=”0″]
The Carlos Garnett sample uses just a little vocal from about 3min 48sec into the song but a real good track on it’s own used. Now the absolutely amazing track from charles Wright and co is a freakin dope tune sin it’s own right and the JB’s use the little brass break which is a constant feature throughout the song (the main reason I like it so much) apart from this song here I can’t find anymore examples of other artists that have used the track, which is kinda nice.
[wpaudio url=” http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Jungle-Brothers-01-Jungle-Brother.mp3″ text=” Jungle Brothers – Jungle Brother ” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=” http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/20th-century-steel-band-B1-heaven-hell-is-on-heart.mp3″ text=”20th Century Steel Band – Heaven & Hell Is On Earth ” dl=”0″]
Well this is quite a famous break and has been used countless times, here it just provides a vocal hook which if you listen it can’t be missed. It’s been sampled by so many others including Lauren Hill, Masta Ace, Blade, Grandmaster Flash and 3rd Bass just to name a few!
[wpaudio url=” http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Play-on-Grand-Central.mp3″ text=” Rae & Christian featuring Jungle Brothers – Play On Grand Central ” dl=”0″]
One of my favorite songs featuring the Jungle Brothers it’s dope also Rae and Christian are so dope it’s crazy if you haven’t checked their music I highly recommend it. It’s pretty easy to find the sample really just vibe out the beautiful song the Gaturs are slick too. this track is also sampled by Puff Daddy (duno if that a good or bad thing really lol). But standard the JB’s flipped it better!
[wpaudio url=” http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/I-Remember.mp3″ text=” Jungle Brothers – I Remember ” dl=”0″]
again another simple use of a song which needs little explaining just kick back and have a listen. the Intruders have definately got it going on though. this track has also been sampled by Coolio, The Fugees and Tev95
Well that brings us to the end of this edition hope it’s been as informative and fun as I could make it, which isn’t hard when you have the Jungle brother’s to profile. Big shouts to you the reader, the Jungle Brother’s for being their bad selves and giving us all some great music to vibe to. So until next time folks keep everything wordisbond for all your hip hop needs. We put the work in so you don’t have to!!