14Sep/129

Schoolly D Instrumentals 101

Alright yo, sit the fuck down, class is in session, bitch!

Widely acknowledged as the original gangsta rapper, Schoolly D is best known for his wildly humorous, pornographically sexual and wantonly violent lyrics. Still, despite all the attention his words have received over the years, few people recognize just how great of a musician he truly is. In exploring Schoolly’s catalogue and researching his place in hip-hop history, I’ve found that his rhymes have almost always overshadowed his beats (all of which he either produced or co-produced). I understand why they’re overlooked, but it’s ironic for several reasons:

1) His first single included a five and a half minute song that wasn’t an instrumental version of another cut but was still almost entirely rap-less. 2) As I said before and please correct me if I’m wrong, but aside from remixes and maybe a few DJ-showcase tracks, he produced or co-produced every song that ever appeared on one of his albums, which is basically unheard of for anyone, let alone someone who’s been making music for nearly 30 years. 3) To put it bluntly, his beats are fucking dope… I mean all of them… incredibly so… and while his rhymes could conceivably be dismissed as overly simple (especially if you’re a dumb motherfucker), his beats are often pretty damn complex.

Usually danceable, sometimes cinematic, always uniquely funky, Schoolly D’s production has evolved over time, setting trends and adapting to changes in the hip-hop soundscape. Even between his first two singles, Gangster Boogie / Maniac and P.S.K. What Does it Mean? / Gucci Time, there is a huge difference in styles. While the first is very much indebted to the whole Bambaataa electro-funk sound of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, the second — though released only a year later, in 1985 — is already looking ahead to the boom-bap sound typically associated with the so-called golden era of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Jump ahead another year to 1986’s Saturday Night and Schoolly’s experimenting with polyrhythmic syncopation. Fast-forward to 1989’s Living In The Jungle / Gucci Again and 1990’s King of New York, and although he’s still within the lane he’d built for himself years earlier, he’s now beginning to foreshadow the dusty minimalism that would rise to popularity around 93/94.

One could argue that Schoolly D’s production was simply ahead of its time. I’m willing to take that a step further and say that by being simultaneously ahead of its time and of its time, his production represents an unacknowledged link in the chain connecting hip-hop’s various eras. I put this compilation together in hopes of bringing listeners to a better appreciation and understanding of Schoolly D, the producer; because though I’m not one for making lists, as far as I’m concerned, he’s definitely one of the Top 10 hip-hop producers of all time… Top 3 when it comes to rapper/producers.

Now go do your homework. (Bump this motherfucker, read all that shit if you haven’t already, and leave a comment letting us know what you think, ho.)

1. Maniac
2. Parkside 5-2
3. Saturday Night
4. Housing the Joint
5. Smoke Some Kill
6. Mr. Big Dick
7. No More Rock N’ Roll
8. Treacherous
9. Pussy Ain’t Nothin’
10. Livin’ in the Jungle
11. Gucci Again
12. King of New York
13. Original Gangster
14. Where’d You Get That Funk From?
15. Another Sign
16. Nigger Entertainment
17. Can You Feel It
18. Do It, Do It

Download Schoolly D Instrumentals 101

-Samuel Diamond

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9 Responses to “Schoolly D Instrumentals 101”

  1. Holly says:

    Thank you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Kyozai says:

    Nice 1 !!

    THX

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  3. NAPPIE RASH says:

    Man this iz dopeness !!!!
    Schoolly D one of the best ever.
    Production & rhymes , also Code Money was a Crazy DJ.
    Thanks and keep posting more Schoolly D Yall….
    Peace
    NRH
    OZ

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  4. Sam says:

    Word, one of the things I failed to mention but that I hoped would be touched on here is how well Schoolly’s drum patterns and Code Money’s chops complemented one another. This is especially evident in the early singles.

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  5. books says:

    That’s what’s up. Good write up, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. dochiphop says:

    Nice post man. I agree that Schoolly (and Code Money) are hella slept on. Their older stuff is classic. Thx!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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