The latter half of Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Bandana features slower, more soulful cuts and to me the vibe shift started off with “Practice.” Freddie raps about relationships and women in general, while Madlib creates a smooth, soulful beat that samples the one and only Donny Hathaway, a soul legend that really needs no introduction.
“Make It Your Own” was actually a demo that came out in 1974. It’s a beautiful, incredibly soulful and passionate track that sees the legend sing effortlessly over incredibly beautiful guitar melodies as well as synths, stunning keys and drumming that just makes the track such a hypnotic listen. Until his unfortunate dealth in 1979, which is believed to be as a result of suicide, Donny Hathaway had severe bouts of depression throughout the decade, and one of the things that really stand out for me when listening to his music is the passion and pain he portrays within his lyrics and music as a whole. It’s a song about losing someone you thought you loved and making it on your own and coping with intense periods of sadness. This is what makes it perfect for a track like “Practice,” which is an emotive track which sees Freddie Gibbs open up about personal feelings for the first real time on the album. And the way Madlib was able to sample it? Wow… You can feel Donny’s vocals piercing through the beat, which doesn’t differ too much from the sample itself. He kept it there to capture a profound moment on the album, which is what makes it a standout for me personally.
Listen to Donny Hathaway’s incredible “Make It Your Own.” It’s off the 2010 compilation album Someday We’ll All Be Free, and features many more of his classics over the years. It’s released on Atlantic Records. To purchase the album, head over to discogs.com.
Listen to Madlib and Freddie Gibbs’ “Practice” off their critically acclaimed second album Bandana. To purchase the album, click here.