Brain Rot: Hip Hop Family Tree, Early Hip Hop Entrepreneurs

Read the rest of the Hip Hop Family Tree comics!




  1. I remember in the late 90’s when Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz had a hit using the opening break from Steely Dan’s “Black Cow”, suddenly the copies of “Aja” that used to be in the cutout bins were $20 on the wall at every shop in NYC. 

    1. i found a record that i later found out had the sample for Show&AG’s Party Groove on it in a dollar bin.  best believe i got hype back home when i heard that horn come in.  every time i found a copy of a well-known-but-not-rare record with a break on it in a dollar bin, i’d cop it just because I knew i’d eventually wear out my current copies.  i got multiple copies of Queen The Game, Brick (the one with Dazz on it), Kraftwerk Computer World, and Chic (the one with Good Times) that way. [/record nerd]

      I loved dollar bins.

    1. One modern album that turned me on to the old breaks the pioneers used was Prodigy’s Dirtchamber Session 1. Here is the first track. In the liner notes he lists just about all of the places he samples from. I thought he used that same song from the J.B.s – but I don’t see it listed. It may have been another track or another album I am thinking of. (ETA – ah its on track 6 )

      I ‘discovered’ what sampling was with the Beastie Boys. My dad always had oldies on in the car, so when “Low Rider” came on, I thought they ripped off the Beastie Boys (I was young).  Later in life one of my favorite things was taking songs by people like My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult and finding the movies they sampled from. It was like a little inside secret between me and the artist.

    2.  I remember seeing on some pirate site a few years ago a collection of MP3’s claiming to be every track sampled by DJ Shadow on his album Endtroducing (which was entirely sample based).
      wish I’d picked it up now.
      Oddly, there’s now a group calling themselves Introducing who perform the entire album on live instruments, completing the circle.

  2. Just watched a wonderful documentary about hip hop entreprensurship, Vice’s “Screwed in Houston.” Funny, respectful, and entertaining, telling the story of musicians who made it work without any help from the record labels. Inspiring, really.

    Search it on youtube if you want to watch.

    1. Presumably that’s a reference to DJ Screw. The screwed mix still popular here, though it seems to have gone in and out of style everywhere else. I attribute that to the continued popularity of cheap Mexican “lean”.

  3. It shows how serious this comic is getting that he delves into Super Disco Brakes.  When the Ultimate Breaks and Beats LPs started appearing in the mid-80’s, it coincides perfectly with when hip-hop really took a quantum leap forward in both composition and “funkiness”, of course a lot also has to do with the sampling technology that appeared at the time.  

  4. I was browsing in a used record store in a Canadian town around 1984, when I overheard a teenage kid desperately trying to get rid of a crate full of fairly obscure disco 45 EP mixes. The clerk was trying very hard to explain to the kid the essence of the laws of supply and demand, which meant that nobody would be willing to pay for any of this crap for any amount of money, because it was now out of fashion, no matter how much he had paid for them before. The kid was practically crying at that time. At that time, I wanted to advise him to store them his mom’s basement for a few decades, but I said nothing. That crate probably ended up in landfill. If it had survived till now, I think it would be virtually worth it’s weight in gold.           

  5. I can’t get enough of these things Ed!! 
    It would be awesome if some of the story arcs were eventually expanded upon at some point.

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