Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Overdue Pt. 1

Every now and then I completely obsess over De La Soul's "Stakes is High," which, in my mind, is one of the better hip hop songs through the genre's history - "Every word I say should be a hip hop quotable". This cycle stated anew when the Mos Def cover starting circulating the web.

One of the obvious highlights of the track is Dilla's production, and it's reliance on Ahmad Jamal's "Swahililand." Trying to find the best version of "Swahililand," however, is always a fun task. As far as I can tell, Jamal recorded different versions over and over again. It doesn't help matters much that much of Jamal's output is still out of print.

The easiest place to start is one of the many Dilla original source/sample comps:
"Swahililand" (from some online Dilla tribute)

My other favorite version is on the out of print Jamal Plays Jamal, which isn't too hard to find online:

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