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Monday, June 6, 2016

MILES DAVIS / EASY MO BEE - "Blow" [New Orleans Hip Hop Remix]

Hell let's continue on this jazz trip here at The Lost Tapes with a very rare official Easy Mo Bee remix of "Blow" from Miles' final '91 album "Doo Bop". Throughout his entire career Miles never stood still, he always wanted to get involved with the stuff the young black kids listened to. Just listen to "On The Corner", "Big Fun''s "Ife" and tracks like "Calypso Frelimo" . But in early 1991 when Hip Hop was what all the hip urban radio stations was blazing Miles had a feeling he could do an excellent take on that by himself if he just had the right collaborators. He asked his friend Russel Simmons to gather up some contenders, one which was Easy Mo Bee whose work with The Genius and Big Daddy Kane really impressed him, one was Sid Reynolds, one was Public Enemy/The Bomb Squad. 

Mo Bee's audition in Miles' Manhattan apartment was filled with producers, and in his own word he beat the competition through his perfectionism - "I'm a guy with an SP-1200 sampling drum machine and an Akai 950 rack sampler. What I do is I call it creative samping, not just plain looping like a lot of the guys do. I get really, really intense with my sampling. It has a lot to do with harmonics and everything has to be in tune". In other words Mo Bee came at it from a musician's point of view rather than the regular joe with a sampler and a bunch of records. "Blow" was originally a joint created for The Genius (he was also a huge fan of GZA's "True Fresh MC"), but whose gonna turn down one of the most prolific musican of the last five decades?

"Doo Bop" received mixed criticism when it was first released, the jazz purist saw it another case of selling out (which it certainly wasn't), while some hip-hop purist was dissapointed that Mo Bee had given him rather too smooth and soulful hip-hop beats instead of the hardhitting neckbreakers. I can't find the interview new, but Mo Bee's answer was firm in that that was the type of sound Miles wanted for his album - the type of beat his horn would mesh best with, and he was most certainly right. "Doo Bop" is in fact a very underrated album - the main thing that marrs it is the two or three songs featuring horrrendous rapping by Mo Bee and his group R.I.F. Why the hell wouldn't he ask Kane or GZA do the honors? Anyway the long out of print 12" single of "Blow" features a much rougher and harder version of the song which might give you an idea how Miles would have sounded if Easy had given him his hardcore beats. It's definitely a nice piece, so check it out up top and also peep the DJ Vlad interview where the legendary producer reveals that "Doo Bop" is the greatest feat of his career!

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