Twitter ran amok two days ago, as Drake’s sophomore album, Take Care, set to drop next Tuesday, sprung an early leak. One of the most talked about tracks, at least from what I observed, was Lord Knows featuring Rick Ross, produced by Just Blaze. True to form, Just did the damn thing, and got me thinking about my favorite Just Blaze beats of all-time. He’s long been in my personal top 5 producers, and a brief glance over his production discography is jaw-dropping. Could have chosen from any number of tracks, but here’s what I came up with (in no particular order):
Freeway Feat. Jay-Z & Beanie Sigel – What We Do; Philadelphia Freeway
Sample: Creative Source – Just Can’t See Myself Without You [Link]
Without question, one of the best, most defining songs of the Roc-A-Fella era. Free’s verse, as Jay has pointed out, playing between “up” and “down” is just silly.
Jay-Z – Show Me What You Got; Kingdom Come
This song wasn’t as well-received as it should have been. Sample-wise — especially Darkest Light — it’s some of Blaze’s best work. It’s really a great record, and, I’ve made this point since 2006: The drums at the end of this joint are fucking bananas.
Jay-Z – U Don’t Know; Blueprint
Sample: Bobby Byrd – I’m Not To Blame [Link]
“They tryna get them 1’s, I’m tryna get them M’s”
Used to listen to this before every basketball game. Shit gives me goosebumps to this day. Hustler’s anthem!
Jay Electronica – Exhibit C
Sample: Billy Stewart – Cross My Heart [Link]
This sample is wicked, and as you know, Jay Elec wrecked this shit!
Game Feat. Nas & Marsha Ambrosious – Why You Hate The Game; Doctor’s Advocate
Sample: The Main Ingredient – With You [Link]
Absolutely love this joint. So damn righteous.
Jay-Z – Show You How; The Blueprint 2: The Gift and The Curse
“Sick of ya’ll niggas wit ya now or later raps”
Just laid the foundation for some of Hov’s best shit-talking ever.
Diplomats – I Really Mean It; Diplomatic Immunity
Sample: Major Harris – I Got Over Love [Link]
Jay-Z – PSA; The Black Album
Sample: Little Boy Blues -Seed Of Love [Link]
Obscure sample that turns out to be a great track. Them keys — piano and electric — are something serious.
Talib Kweli – Never Been In Love; The Beautiful Struggle
Sample: The Imaginations -Because I Love You [Link]
Kanye West Feat. Lupe Fiasco – Touch The Sky; Late Registration
Sample: Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up [Link]
Another excellent sample. How you know Curtis was good: when’s the last time you heard a soul sample that had to be slowed down?
Juelz Santana – The Second Coming
Sample: Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique – 5th movement [Link]
Another pregame special. Originally for a dope-ass Nike spot.