Because I’m fairly certain this was keeping you up at night, it turns out “No Kings” isn’t the most-played song on my iTunes.
Without further ado, the real #1:
J.Dilla: “Jungle Love” (feat. Guilty Simpson and MED) [from The Shining, 2006]
“No Kings” has been played a paltry 27 times, which doesn’t even account for all the times I’ve jumped the gun and hit next before it’s actually finished, whereas “Jungle Love” shows up at #6 after 23 spins.
So how is that song #1? I’ve got two versions of it … one from the promo, which is littered with dialogue from Kubrick’s version of The Shining — the version that got 23 plays — and another I downloaded from eMusic to avoid hearing all that garbage cluttering up the track. The “official” version has seen 16 plays, bringing the grand total for “Jungle Love” to a whopping 39, head and shoulders above anything else on my iTunes.
Click below to read more about this badassness.
I’ve attempted on numerous occasions to create a single CD that would hold my favorite hip-hop songs of all-time. I have never succeeded, as I find it impossible to not relentlessly tinker with the list. But pretty much every time I’ve attempted this over the past two years, “Jungle Love” has solidly made the cut.
The emcees are pretty decent here. Guilty, whom I love, rocks his bottomless swagger with a few nice punchlines, and MED, of whom I’m not a huge fan, even flows over this beat. Neither of them are enough make this track worthy, however.
Oh, but that beat. That sweet, sweet, simple beat. I could write a graduate thesis about my obsession with that dirty double kick-drum, but it’s the grimy, metallic clatter of tamborines and whatever he’s using as a snare that gets me downright horny. Throw in a few non-rhythmic blasts of synthesizer noise to break up that minimal stomp, and you’ve pretty much maxed out my happiness level.
Simplicity is no small feat when it comes to beats. It requires attention to detail to make it work, something Dilla — who likely produced some of your favorite hip-hop tracks before his untimely death in early 2006 at the hands of a rare blood disease — had in spades. It’s like short hair on women: It doesn’t always work, but when it works, it really works. (See Clipse’s “Grindin’,” Sienna Miller.) Whenever I do get around to making that mix, I’ll practically guarantee that this makes it on there.
By the way, the play count is now at 42.