Tuesday, October 25, 2011

90's Hit Parade #18

Cypress Hill - Hand on the Pump

"Hand on the Pump" is designed for lowrider culture, for driving slow down the boulevard, but it's not the relaxing, good time music like, say, William De Vaughn's "Be Thankful For What You Got" or War's "Lowrider." Instead, it has a sinister sound. It's hard not to think of the scene from Boyz in tha Hood where a carload of gangsters ride down a street brandishing a shotgun. The foundational sample is a scratchy record of "Duke of Earl," a classic lowrider anthem, but an odd sample to base a hip hop record on, even beyond the vinyl noise. The hook on the chorus is much more melodically developed than you get with most rap songs. My favorite bit is when the "Lalalala lalalala" hook appears in the middle of the last verse (followed by "Look at all of those funeral cars"), showing up on a different beat and sounding even scarier. Just a perfect record.


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