To celebrate the release of Bandana, the highly anticipated sophomore album from Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, I will be dedicating the whole of July unpacking the samples he used for the album. I will be unpacking these in the order of the tracklist, so next up we have the phenomenal and surprising “Half Manne Half Cocaine” sampling a dancehall classic from Super Beagle titled “Dust a Sound Boy.”
When you listen to the original for the first time, you might immediately associate the track with the Kanye West produced “Mercy” featuring Pusha T, 2 Chainz and Big Sean, off Cruel Summer. The iconic sample at the very start of the track was created by one of the most iconic voices of the dancehall genre, Fuzzy Jones. The legendary singer has made hits upon hits throughout the 80s, setting up soundsystem dubplates and intense and important dancehall cuts with eclectic rants that can be heard throughout tracks such as “Dust a Sound Boy.” The influence of his vocals can be heard on tracks from the likes of Public Enemy as well as Diddy’s occasional pep talks on Notorious B.I.G songs. It’s fascinating reading about him and his influence, and would have loved to grow up at a time when that was the culture and vibe. What’s so great about his vocals is that they sound menacing, unnerving and intense. Whenever they’re sampled directly, such as on “Mercy” or most recently “Half Manne Half Cocaine,” there’s a real hard-hitting energy to the sounds it produces. Madlib took advantage of that fully on the latter track.
As the beat switches from the surprising trap-inspired sound the legendary producer goes into a murky, cacophonous instrumental. It’s dense with dominant basslines and unsettling keys, and Fuzzy Jones’ iconic vocal snippet is added in the middle of this madness to create quite a dark, eerie tone, probably one of the more unnerving moments on the album. The wails are perfectly complemented by the madness of the beat itself. It’s a great track with an immense sample. As for Freddie Gibbs’ delivery, it’s perfect for this kind of beat.
Listen to Super Beagle’s original “Dust a Sound Boy” below via YouTube. Released via Techniques Records, 1986. If you want to purchase this track, click here.
Listen to Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s great “Half Manne Half Cocaine” below via YouTube. It’s off their 2019 collaborative album Bandana. Find purchase information here.