I might be a white kid from Iowa, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get down with some hip hop. As I’ve mentioned before, groups like RUN-D.M.C. and The Beastie Boys played a significant role in my musical development. Due to the fact that many hip hop beats are sampled from some of the funkiest albums ever recorded, playing along with these tracks is a great practice tool for drummers. Repeating the same one measure groove, over and over, without any fills, while keeping it in the pocket, sounds simple…. until you try it.
Today’s loop is inspired by the production and feel that Jurassic 5 captures on this album. I fuzzed things up a bit and tried to emulate the warm, punchy sound of an old, vinyl record. I also grilled up some burgers and prepared them “animal style” to get in a West Coast frame of mind.
I can still remember the first time I heard the hi hat open on the one. It was December 25, 1986… probably around 8:27 am. That particular Christmas morning, I felt like I had hit the ultimate jackpot. Not only did I score a Sega Master System and some Dinobots, I also received my first “cool” album: Run-D.M.C.’s “Raising Hell”.
I tore off the wrapping paper, peeled off the shrink-wrap and immediately shoved the cassette tape into my Sanyo boombox. The album kicked off with the ferocious track, “Peter Piper”, and only went up from there. After three songs, my head was in a complete spin. Then it REALLY hit me. Four bars of drums and I was in heaven. This was so different from that fucking ‘Grease’ soundtrack my sister had been playing incessantly for the first 9 years of my life. Run-D.M.C.’s cover of Aerosmith’s 1977 hit ‘Walk This Way’ not only cleansed my musically tortured soul, it taught me you could open the hi hat directly on beat one.
Today’s loop takes that important lesson I learned 22 years ago and mixes it with a few ghosted notes on the snare and some residual ‘sugarfoot’ (I haven’t showered in three days).