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I Got My Mind Made Up

I got my mind made up – Instant Funk

Something i’ve been doing lately, part through boredom, part through it being exactly the kind of activity someone of my character engages in, is going through my hip hop albums and finding the songs sampled within in their original versions, extending sometimes the most brief of passages to complete songs. It must be getting to me because rather than having A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturdays” in my head it, it is most definitely this song, with the extra horn lines, the Moog solo, and the “I got my mind made up/come on, you can get it/get it, girl/anytime, mighty fine” on the trail i’m following from those sublime opening bars.

This is a fantastic endeavour. I’m finding so many great songs, recognising so many samples/breaks/loops, and realising what is obvious to many but to cursory, new jack old me is a revelation: How a hip hop track is formed. And how often are they reused? A consistent vocabulary of James Brown (duh), Sly and the Family Stone (i’m kicking myself for not making some of these connections before), the Commodores, old school hip hop, Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Average White Band, Synthetic Substitution, etc.. The records on one’s shelf, and finding incredible, innovative use for them.

What can be done with this song, Ebony Jam by Tower of Power, Good Times by Chic, Evil Vibrations by The Mighty Riders, Saturday in the Park by Chicago, Grease and Light My Fire by Young-Holt Unlimited and a little imagination is an amazing thing indeed. Letting this record play through without appropriation or manipulation is an equally as worthwhile and fine thing to do.

the killer

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