Ice Cube’s classic E.P. “Kill at Will” went platinum 22 years ago this week. Some say that it is his finest work in a lengthy discography. That is up for debate, but his contribution to hip-hop music and culture cannot be denied. I think he is one of the Top 20 MCs of all time.
“Kill at Will” featured an amazing song that was very unique at its time. In “Jacking for Beats,” we see Ice Cube rapping over a half dozen beats that we already had heard in other people’s songs. Prior to this track, rappers never really used other people’s instrumentals. We can truly say that Ice Cube started a trend with this brilliant song.
I absolutely love how he “stole” these beats. It was a very creative way to use the beats from these songs . . .
“Call Me D-Nice” by D-Nice
“So Whatcha Sayin'” by EPMD
“Welcome to the Terrordome” by Public Enemy
“The Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground
“Big Ole Butt” by L.L. Cool J.
“Heed the Word of the Brother” by X-Clan
Like Ice Cube says, “I take a funky beat and reshape it. Locate a dope break and then I break it, and give it that gangsta lean . . . jack a fool for his beat and then I’m outtie.”
Chase March explores the concept of jacking for beats and plays these songs in this edition of Know Your History, your monthly dose of hip-hop knowledge.
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