Stax: The Soul of Hip Hop 

An overdue concept record badly missing a companion disc: Here is a batch of relatively obscure Stax sides all sampled in generally more successful hip-hop hits — with explanatory liner notes.

If you're familiar with the rap singles that deploy these sounds, then what this record presents is evidence of sampling at its best — not wholesale appropriation but recontextualization or lifting stray elements and converting them into new music: the Isaac Hayes piano lick Public Enemy deploys on "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos"; the Little Milton vocal hook that comments on the verses of Ghostface Killah's "Walk Around."

Honestly, the hip-hop songs that borrow are, in most of these cases, better than what they're borrowing from. Whenever I hear the Emotions' "Blind Alley" or Isaac Hayes' "Hung Up on My Baby," I'm always disappointed I'm not hearing Big Daddy Kane's "Ain't No Half-Steppin'" or the Geto Boys' "Mind Playing Tricks on Me."

Taken out of its hip-hop context, this is a good collection of Stax sides most casual fans will not own and may not have heard. ("Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" — Isaac Hayes; "After Laughter (Comes Tears)" — Wendy Rene; "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" — William Bell) — CH

Grade: B+

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

News Blog

Memphis Pets of the Week (August 16-22)

News Blog

Stat: Gun Crimes in Shelby County

News Blog

REI Opens Next Friday

News Blog

State Review of School Security Nearly Complete

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

This Week At The Cinema: The Good, The Bad, and The Anime

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Aaron James

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Herrington

  • Last Words

    In "Enough Said," James Gandolfini makes his last lead film role his best.
    • Sep 26, 2013
  • Masters of Sound

    New albums from two of Memphis’ most distinctive stylists.
    • Sep 19, 2013
  • Hayes Carll at the Hi-Tone

    • Sep 19, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation