Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Yeah Well-Well-Well

For today's feat of a third Street's Disciple post in a row, I want to focus on what could possibly be my favorite of the lost tracks from this project, Good Morning. Unlike anything appearing throughout either disc, Good Morning comes at the world, in its music and lyrics, a bit different. With a studied breath and careful speech, Nas gives focus equally to the run of school children and the lurch of the homeless, all a part of the morning traffic. His early ad-libs serve literally as a dawn salutation, his "yeah" not hyped or downtrodden, reflective almost, framing thoughts the way waking up to the call of the sun only can. There's movement outside, but the chaos of the city is tucked away for now. People are still sleeping, the air casts a fog that slows everything down to an AM pace, and Nas is up early, without the anxiety of past years: "Can't ya tell I'm much happier nowadays? No more child play, living life the foul way." But then this textured feel that you get is not merely from Nas, but rather springs forth from the rich sample of the Isley Brother's For The Love Of You. While clearance problems with that sample might be what got Good Morning inevitably cut, I can't imagine it sounding any different than it does courtesy of the Isleys.

With a career that spans from the 1950's straight through today, hopefully 2005-2006 is not the first time you've heard of the Isley Brothers. (Ron Isley even popped on another Nas song before, Project Windows.) At the group's best, blending their church upbringing with the sounds of the popular music from the various decades they've traveled, the Isleys' sound reflects a depth of influences. Able to adapt to whatever was happening outside, these Cincinnati legends became masters of laying down their own takes on top of the established, always while expanding their own style. Seen from the contagious pulse of Fight the Power to the slow-burn sweat of Don't Say Goodnight, their catalog displays the rawness of funk just as easily as the refined air of a seductive slow jam. A keen sense of timing, a strong sense of melody, and a constant groove, all too have proven the Isley Brothers accomplished songwriters, soulful and straight to the point.

This aforementioned idea of the Isleys' six-decade run, while still maintaining a measure of relevance throughout, is no minor point. It speaks not only to the versatility of their sound, but to the diversity of their talent and a willingness to embrace change. Most recently, thanks to R. Kelly and the creation of the Mr. Biggs persona, a new spin, for a new audience, has the Isley name back on the radio dial, where it began before most of us were even us. Rap music has also put a new look on these timeless records, as the sampling of their music has scored hits for everyone from Naughty by Nature to Ice Cube. Simply off of Between the Sheets alone, Biggie, Da Brat, and Whitney Houston all jumped to a higher tax bracket. Through Hip-Hop, propelling other artists to success again and again, the Isleys continue to recreate a whole new era of what they are about. While For The Love Of You itself has been sampled more than a couple times before, had Good Morning ever made it to proper release, it would have pushed that influence even further.

For The Love Of You packs that particular breezy vibe that catapulted plenty of the Isley Brothers catalog into a classic realm, where slick becomes smooth and heartfelt becomes almost haunting. The song soars with the drum and the bass meeting at the hip, the guitar nearby, all the signature vamp that underscored the 3+3 era of the Isleys' reign. From the synth work of cousin Chris Jasper, the wailing guitar and drumming of Ernie Isley, bass from Marvin Isley, and the distinct vocal runs of Ron Isley, they laid out a sound that you always knew was their own, accentuated during slow jams especially. Such as the case here, where the groove used on Good Morning, in its familiar sweep, simply glides, effortless even, leaving Nas to compliment the tone of the track with his warm vocals. Nas then builds upon the thematics of the song and moves it down a whole different avenue. This is an example of a bridge of creativity that ties great artists together.
Good morning, yawning, dawn is now gone and
New day, toothpaste, brushing my screw face
Follow the light, it's such a great feeling
And I love life, every minute's pure healing
Nas: Good Morning
BONUS: The Isley Brothers: Don't Say Goodnight
BONUS: The Isley Brothers: Fight The Power
BONUS: The Isley Brothers: For The Love of You

*NOTE: Today's write-up is predominately the work of mistermaxxx. Thanks to dude for his contribution and time and for letting me bounce ideas off him more than once.--Fletch


Anonymous Colin said...

Probably my second favourite unreleased Nas track. Right after Silent Murder. Nice write-up to Maxxx and Fletch.

April 12, 2006 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

excellent post, excellent track. I got a question: who produced it?

Peace... GregO

April 13, 2006 1:58 AM  
Blogger the prisoner's wife said...

might be a silly question, do i open the music files? pasting them into my browser doesn't work. i need a special program?

love the blog. i'm a big fan.

April 13, 2006 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Colin said...

^Hey man, all you have to do is paste the link into your browser and replace the x's with t's, ie. hxxp changed to http

April 13, 2006 10:25 AM  
Blogger the prisoner's wife said...

thank you colin :)

April 13, 2006 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there any good reason why you aren't using permanent download sites like sendspace or rapidshare? that would be helpful

April 13, 2006 1:52 PM  
Blogger Fletch said...

colin, since Silent Murder appeared on Euro and cassette versions of IWW, it's technically not unreleased like Good Morning is, but I see your point and agree completely.

anonymous1, unfortunately I can't say with any certainty who produced Good Morning. I've heard Nas himself did it before (he also has One Mic and Suicide Bounce to his name), but it could just as easily be one of the SD core four: LES, Salaam Remi, or Chucky Thompson. If I had to bet, because it doesn't seem like what Salaam Remi would necessarily do with the sample, and because I think the beat's good and Chucky Thompson's work largely is not, my plain guess would be that LES was behind it. But that's probably wrong.

pw, you can do what Colin recommended, or, since it's a little easier, just copy everything to the right of the second backlash, e.g. "s2 . . . " and paste it in your browser's address bar. That saves you a step.

anonymous2, yes there are good reasons why I don't use sendpace or rapidshare. The main reason is--and I've mentioned this elsewhere: there is a code, unspoken or not, that since audioblogs already violate copyright rules, that to leave the leave the link up for an extended period of time would be doing a bit much. Also, if the download spots were forever, then I could potentially have hundreds of active downloads, which again would be a violation IMO. If you look at Soul Sides, which is pretty much the mp3blog architect, their links stay up for 10 days. I'm doing 7, which shortchanges 3 days in comparison, but hey, it's not a even world always.

And then if you ask, why not move to sendpace or rapidshare and just take the links down after 10 days? Well, I don't want to go through the hassle of kill codes and the such.

Also, I would only use a site like Rapidshare if I were uploading an album, because their download limits kinda dissuade casual individual song posting like I do.

So it's yousendit. If a link goes down before the standard 7 day period, as I say on the main page, I'll gladly reup when requested. It's free music in the end.

April 13, 2006 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


the link isn't working for me.
Even when I change the x's its just blank with the yousendit part at the top?
If this can be rectified I'd be greatful.


April 14, 2006 6:16 AM  
Blogger Fletch said...

link example:
Nas: Good Morning


Copy everything to the right of the second of the set of two back slashes,

Paste that string into the address bar in your browser. Hit enter to activate link. That should take you to the yousendit download page. The links are still working. I don't know what to say beyond that.

April 14, 2006 6:26 AM  
Blogger the prisoner's wife said...

hey Fletch..

i DLed a supposed Touch It rmx w/ Jay & Nas. i know that DJs often cut up pieces up other songs and then it shows up as a rmx...but...have you heard this one? they are riding the beat PERFECTLY. are these verses from a diff song or is this an actual rmx??

(if i'm late, sorry...i just DLed it this morning)


April 14, 2006 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Colin said...

I haven't heard it, but I can guarantee you they're verses from a different song. A verse can fit multiple beats perfectly. If you hear the Affirmative Action 2004 remix that has been put over 'Breath' you'll see what I mean. AZ "rips" it.

April 14, 2006 1:52 PM  
Blogger the prisoner's wife said...

yeah, i know things can fit perfectly. most so-called remixes you come across online sound garbage tho, which is why i was curious. any clues as to what song(s) it comes from? the beat is different also.

April 14, 2006 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Colin said...

If you upped it maybe I could help...

April 14, 2006 4:47 PM  
Blogger Fletch said...

I think I'm gonna nominate Colin as my official press secretary. :)

PW, was this the song ?

If so, that Jay's verse from Stop, also produced by Swizz Beatz, from Blueprint 2.1, and a verse of Nas' from You Know My Style, off of the bonus track from Street's Disciple.

It's just a blend, but a decent one at least.

April 14, 2006 5:51 PM  
Blogger the prisoner's wife said...

yeah, that's it. i knew you'd know. *lol*

thanks (you too Colin!).

April 14, 2006 10:17 PM  
Anonymous Ruck-Spin said...

The Touch It Blend was done by Hasan Insane, who from what I can tell is an up and coming producer out of ny. the YouTube is down, so the closest I got was his myspace, which doesn't have the nas/jigga blend. regardless i'm loving the rest of his stuff.

if anyone has a link to the touch it, def. share it.

April 17, 2006 5:47 PM  

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