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5 Best Times Hip Hop Crossed Over With House Music



When Kanye West sampled Larry Heard a.k.a Mr Fingers in his recent hit track, ‘Fade’, it showed that there is still plenty of life left in the crossover between hip hop and house music. Back in the late ’80’s, TRAX Records, the legendary Chicago house label, even set up a sub label to focus solely on hip house, such was its popularity. Now, TRAX have signalled a return to the classic hip house sound with their release ‘Some Other Time’ by Pour Le Plaisir, Screamin’ Rachael and Emskee.

New York rapper, Emskee, is held in high regard in the NYC hip-hop community. With multiple albums and successful collaborations to his name, he presents ‘Controlled Substance’, a cool, weekly radio show on Radio Free Brooklyn. He also runs a monthly, all vinyl party called RECORDNITION with Easy Mo Bee, playing hip hop and house music. With his love for both genres and his rap featured on the new TRAX release, we asked him to take a look back and select his 5 best times hip hop crossed over with house music.

‘Planet E’ KC Flightt
RCA/Popular Records

I first heard this when i first started collecting house records while living in North Carolina in 1989. It takes samples from Frankie Knuckles ‘Baby Wants to Ride” on the legendary Chicago house music label,Trax Records, and “Once In A Lifetime” by the Talking Heads, and mashes them together for a body movin’ blend.

KC Flightt wasn’t exactly rhyming, but using more of a ‘scat’ talking style. But still a dope hip house style record. The Hip Hop Mix of this song really gives the joint an extra heavy bottom feel. Sampling and speeding up drums from Big Daddy Kane’s record “Raw”, it instantly gains more hop.

‘I’ll House You’ Jungle Brothers
Idlers/Warlock Records

MONSTER record when this dropped in 1989. Crushed the clubs EVERYWHERE. Created from sample pieces of the official house music anthem “Move Your Body” by Marshall Jefferson on Trax Records, producer Todd Terry actually created I’ll House You” off the instrumental of a record he produced with his group Royal House called “Party People’ on the same label. And it was the last song put on their album at the time, and the label laughed at the song. Afrika of the Jungle Brothers tells it here: https://youtu.be/UAnUwSx7nwU. I first heard it at a fellow house DJ friend’s house when I lived in North Carolina for a little while in 1988.

‘For Those Who Like To Groove’ – Twin Hype
Profile Records

The Club Groove Mix was the one that heads checked for. A dark, heavy bass bottom, driving beat while Twin Hype rip a perfect flow for it. DJ King Shameek lays the fresh cuts on the chorus. With quick snippet samples of a Bobby Byrd horn lick from his record “I’m Comin’, and a voice sample from a Turtles song, “I’m Chief Kamanawanalea” laid on top to ride the groove, this was a catchy and can’t miss joint. The video version wasn’t as hard hitting, but still came off with the visuals of dancing to add to the experience. https://youtu.be/1yCG0DfzZbY. I first heard it on 98.7 Kiss FM when I was home for the summer in 1989. Wow.

‘How I’m Livin’ Toni Scott
Champion Records

Another record that I first heard while I was living in North Carolina in 1989. I finally caught a copy of the 45 at a thrift shop in the mid-nineties after searching for it for a while. I had always wanted the 12″ but could never find a copy. This is way before digital digging and being able to buy easily online. Tony Scott lays the perfect flow over this Fabien Lenssen produced hotness. Movement is induced as soon as the record plays.

‘Let It Roll’ Doug Lazy
Atlantic Records

The main version samples a portion of “The Power” by Chill Rob G and Turbo B (take your pick), with a slight bassline addition, and the voice sample of hip hop veteran Big Daddy Kane on the hook. This record I believes epitomizes the acceptance of the hip house sound at a slight cross over level. Doug Lazy drops the laid back verses real smooth on this. Released in 1989, this is another record whose dub version uses sampled sounds from the official house music anthem, “Move Your Body” by Marshall Jefferson.

‘Fun With Bad Boys (Hip House Mix)’ Screamin’ Rachael

Grand Groove Hip House Records

This one is special because it’s the FOUNDING FATHER RECORD of the hip house movement. It features the Queen of house music, Screamin’ Rachael, where she breathes a sultry, sing/rap message of loving to hang out with naughty boys, over a catchy, synth riddled track. Pressed on Grand Groove Hip House Records on 1987, and produced and mixed by a certified pioneer of the house movement out of Chicago, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, this is the blueprint for everything that came after.

Pour Le Plaisir, Screamin’ Rachael & Emskee ‘Some Other Time’ is out now on TRAX Records.
Buy / listen here: http://www.traxrecords.net/bandcamp.htm

Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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