Mind-blowing that Raekwon’s masterful album Only Built For Cuban Linx turns 28 today. In celebration, I’ve compiled a nearly-comprehensive playlist of all the samples, available on TIDAL. There are a couple of gems too dusty & deep for the Tidal waters, for whatever reason these did not appear on the platform.
When looking at the list of known samples for this album, CB#5 by Ralph Vargas & Carlos Bess, recorded in 1993, is a mysterious piece to the question “where did RZA find that funky drumbreak?!”. Bess & Vargas aka D-Boy Music acted as session musicians for Hip Hop & R&B in the sense that they made vinyl albums of their live session sets so that Hip Hop producers could sample an analog, vinyl version of the break. Likely CB5 simply meant Carlos Bess drummed that break, perhaps it was the 5th he played that day.
For the culture, and the feel of the 60s/70s RZA captured with this soundscape of samples, I’ve included some of the original album covers of the gems he selected for Raekwon’s OB4CL. As much fun as it is to revisit the original work ~ a Hip Hop classic without dispute ~ that’s how much I enjoyed this dig, albeit digitally, into the bass, brass, breaks, and blessings that comprise one of Hip Hop’s most memorable projects. Peace to the Gods & Earths, The RZA, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, the whole damn Wu-Tang Clan, Loud Records, Steve Rifkind .. and Bill “Bigga B” Operin (Rest in Peace).
~ walasia “MJ” shabazz ~
Follow Walasia: @Noorscience
A Time for Love by Earl Klugh (1980)
CB#5 by Ralph Vargas and Carlos Bess (1993)
Children, Don’t Get Weary by Booker T. & the M.G.’s feat. Judy Clay (1969)
Get Up and Get Down by The Dramatics (1971)
I Keep Asking You Questions by Black Ivory (1972)
I Like It by The Emotions (1969)
Ice Cream Man by Eddie Murphy (1983)
If by Henry Mancini and Doc Severinsen (1972)
If You Think It (You May as Well Do It) by The Emotions (1972)
Mellow Mood (Pt. 1) by Barry White (1974)
One Last Job from The Killer (1989)
Opening Theme from The Killer (1989)
Over the Rainbow by Patti LaBelle (1981)
Shaolin Monk vs Shadow Boxing Kung Fu from Shaolin vs. Lama (1983)
The Breakdown (Part II) by Rufus Thomas (1971)
When My Love Comes Down by Ruby Johnson (1966)
Why Marry by The Sweet Inspirations (1973)
CB#5 ~ Carlos Bess
Carlos Bess, CB#5