DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Summertime (Hybrid remix)
“Here it is, the groove, slightly transformed, just a bit of a break from the norm. Just a little somethin’ to break the monotony, of all that hardcore dance that has gotten to be…”
Fresh Prince, Summertime, 1991
The Fresh Prince (before Will Smith rebranded and renamed himself for his career) teamed up with DJ Jazzy Jeff
. This isn’t the song I am nominating for Taped Together (rest easy @kirstinbutler
who earlier in #tapedtogether
put this track into the “lo spectrum” of best summer namesake tracks). Instead you have the original track to download and a rare remix to enjoy.
This ‘family’ of connected tracks came back to mind last month when @Faris
an ambassador of the appropriate Talent Imitates, Genius Steals
shared a video on Borrowing Culture in the Remix Age
where authorship and creative originality are questioned and celebrated. Popular commercial music such as Fresh Prince can go on to be reinterpreted into a number of infinite possibilities. A cover, a mash-up or a new idea can take a main ‘ingredient’ and make it far more palatable. I don’t like aubergine/eggplant, but I love baba ghanoush
. The same ingredient concept can work with music and culture.
REMIX (TO LISTEN TO HERE)
I nominate Hybrid’s
remix of Summertime (even the name of the Welsh house/breaks/techno producers is suggestive of being a result of many parts). Whenever I’m DJing an outdoors summer party I spin this track from my 1998 compilation vinyl album Old School Vs. New School
. The album in itself was at the zeitgeist of recombinant and remix culture. It has reworked/remixed/rerubbed tracks that create results of ‘old school’ (vintage relatively traditional rap) with contemporary production techniques that gave tracks an up-to-date flavour in the big beat and nu-breaks sound of 1998.
I like the track as a guilty pleasure, based on familiarity of the lyrics and featuring the original instrumental basis of the song. Add a bouncy squelchy bassline and some strings = sounds great on an outdoor sound system in the sun.
ORIGINAL (FOR DOWNLOAD BELOW)
Summertime is, like most rap tracks of the 1990’s, based on either a percussion break such as the Amen Brother
sample and/or an instrumental sample. This was based on a sample from funk band Kool & The Gang’s 1974 instrumental track Summer Madness
. In fact, the original title is name-checked in the lyrics of Summertime. Kool & the Gang also reinvented themselves from a jazz funk band to a pop funk band.
I love the original Summer Madness, it’s a mellow chilled aural representation of a summer evening. It features a revolutionary sound rising synthesizer scale which give the track a distinctive sound and was also stolen by Bill Conti who did the Rocky soundtrack and it give a key part in the Rocky theme Gotta Fly Now
two years later. In fact Bill Conti did such a good job of stealing the sound, someone realized and featured the Kool & The Gang track for a few moments of the Rocky movie.
So there it is: jazz funk chill, stolen via Rocky soundtrack, rapped over by the Fresh Prince, beats by Jazzy Jeff, club treatment remix by dance producers and into a DJ Stoney summer party.
The groove IS slightly transformed… It breaks the monotony.