Today’s song that’s being highlighted in the Looking for the Perfect Beat (L4TPB V.2) column comes from veteran group De La Soul’s 4th LP, Stakes is High. The LP was released in 1997 following Buhloone Mind State (1993), De La Soul is Dead (1991) & their debut LP 3 Feet High & Rising (1989). They’re part of the super hip hop conglomerate called the Native Tongues. De La Soul means From the Soul in Spanish. They are a Long Island, NY 3 man group with members: emcee Trugoy (Left-Yogurt spelled backwards), emcee Posdnuos (Right-Sound sop spelled backwards) and Dee Jay PA Mace (Center-AKA Maceo). The 4th single off of the Stakes is High LP was called 4 More featuring Zhane. It was produced by DJ Ogee & De La Soul. They went on to make a video for the song as well (below).
Female vocal group Zhane (Left-Renee Neufville & Right-Jean Baylor), active members of the Flavor Unit that were discovered by Naughty By Nature & produced largely by Dee Jay Kay Gee from the same group, sang backup on 4 More. Zhane’s unique vocal styles meshed well with the production and rhymes styles of Trugoy and Posdnuos. The female singers are well known for their single Hey Mr DJ (below). Unlike a lot of R&B vocalist at that time, Zhane was well respected by the Hip Hop community. They were seen as a singing group that the ‘real heads’ could get down with. The homeys might clown you for having an Adina Howard tape, but not Zhane. S.O. to Zhane for keeping it soulful.
The Original Track: 4 More was based off a sample from renowned Jazz Drummer Chico Hamilton’s song A Rose for Booker off of his Drum Fusion LP released in 1962. De La Soul & DJ Ogee did their thing with this sample. They really made the song their own by altering the sound, like adding effects and thickness to the bass in the keys played. The drum sequences, scratches and added synth riffs are also nice compliments to this beat. The original is slightly over 8 minutes long. It’s rooted in the ‘post-bop’ style of Jazz, and the horns add a nice flavor to the tune. Chico Hamilton recorded several LPs throughout his career as a bandleader and accompanying drummer. Props to him for providing this dope track.