Total Pageviews

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

COMMON / D'ANGELO - "Geto Heaven Part Two"

I first realized that some people might actually have missed out on this fantastic classic when my copy of "Like Water For Chocolate" started to wear out and I tried to download it. On every single download, "Geto Heaven Part Two" was replaced with this horrible club remix featuring Macy Gray, and of course the song that skipped on my CD was "G.H.P.T.". I can't understand how ?uestlove, Common and Derick Dudley could ever think it was a good idea in any way, shape, or form to throw in that remix on such a complete album as "Like Water..."; it totally breaks up the mood and it's not even remotely good on its own. To me, Com's first album after he moved to New York is his best album, and not only that but one of the bsst hip-hop albums ever released; Jay Dee's production on 11 of the albums 16 songs are all fantastic and the remaining tracks by D'Angelo, ?uestlove and James Poyser and the powerful outro by Karriem Riggins is such a wonerfully arranged front-to-back listen. To me, it's a better and more mature album than both "Resurrection" and "Be", though both of them are true masterpieces in my book as well. One of the album's strengths is the flow of the album, and how all the songs tie in to each other with the The Soulquarian's collective handling of the production and Common's renewed sense of awareness in his lyrics; something that had started on "One Day It'll Make Sense" but really came through with his move to New York where he met like-minded people like Talib Kweli, Mos Def and Pharoahe Monch. For the abovestated reasons, it's really mind boggling how the horrible Macy Gray version without any apologies takes a gigantic leap from everything the album represents.

The original version, instead featuring one of the geatest soul artists of the last 20 years in D'Angelo, is something completely different; strong, positively melancholic and passionately beautiful, created through perfect performances by everyone who participated in the sessions. Unlike the album's preceeding tracks, "Geto Heaven Pt. 2" is entirely created with live instrumentation; you got Brother ?uestlove on drums, D'Angelo on accoustic piano, James Poyser on Rhodes, Antonio Hart on flute and Pino Palladino on bass. In other words, The Soulquarian's truly coming together as a unit and working out a hauntingly beautiful, yet peaceful song. It was the perfect opening to the final act of Common's crown acheivement as an artist. Interestingly enough this wasn't even part of the original LP in its initial stages, which is pretty fantastic considering how much in the vein of it it definitely is, but rather recorded for D'Angelo's "Voodoo" album. Of course, those two albums were recorded simultaneously in Electric Ladyland studios with much of The Roots' "Things Fall Apart" and the majority of Erykah Badu's brilliant "Mama's Gun"; making a quartet of albums that are like sister albums to each other and are about equally good; true classics that everybody who loves soul and hip-hop should have in their collections,  The story, as told by ?uestlove, goes that when D'Angelo heard the original beat for "Chicken Grease", that The Soulquarians had just jammed out during a Common session he was more than willing to trade "Geto Heaven" for the initial Common track; and even throw in a wonderful guest vocal chorus to boost. You could almost say that "Like Water..." and "Voodoo" are reflections of each other; the hip-hop side, and the soul side (and Badu's "Mama's Gun" I always considered to be the female counterpart to D'Angelo's male perspective on "Voodoo"), so the pieces naturally just fit as good as they did. The Roots' "Things Fall Apart" definitely fit in in this equation as well, it's a rather new sound for The Roots heavily influenced by D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, and of course Jay Dee who laced the funky as shit joint "Dynamite" and the hilarious B-aside only, "New Year's At Jay Dee's".  

So why am I posting a song from 2000 you might ask; the answer is simple - as I said I came to the realization that many people might not even have heard it since it seemed it was hard to download when I was hunting it down and this deserves to be heard by EVERYONE, much unlike THIS - "GHETO HEAVEN (T.S.O.I,P. REMIX)". That "Like Water..." is spinning on my turntable right now of course plays into the decision to post this now as well, so if you haven't heard the original version. you can check the YouTube video up top, and to download I ripped a quite nice 192 kbps rip of my CD (the one that sometimes skips). Luckily, I'm listening to the Mp3 now and it's not skipping at all, so enoy this straight up FANTASTIC track (produced by GOD according to the credits BTW). If you're gonna buy Common's New York debut with The Soulquarian's make sure to pick up a used copy, preferably on wax; maybe on Discogs to make sure that you get the original version of the LP. With that being said, that wack remix still doesn't alone manage to break an album as dope as "Like Water..."; you still got Jay Dee doing most of the production (which is it s lot more traditional and atmospheric  than his work on the madly overlooked "Electric Circus), and is full of fantastic beats, interludes, guests and of course amazing coallabos by The Roots, Slum Village, MC Lyte, DJ Premier, Bilal, Mista Sinista, Mos Def, Roy Hargrove, Femi Kuti, Cee-Lo, and Razhel.


1 comment:

  1. Replacing the original version featuring D'Angelo is fine, just sell the replacement as an optional track, but don't take away something. The version with D'Angelo is still in my digital library, but if I ever wanted a lossless version, I'm out of luck unless I risk buying off of Discogs. Who knows what condition those discs are in?