Friday, October 5, 2007

Know Your History: Pop Goes The Weasel...So The Bass Goes Pop

Looking back at the lyrics to Pop Goes The Weasel off 3rd Bass' second LP Derelicts Of Dialect, you have to smile at the unintentional naivete of it all. With lines like: Gettin' paid to peddle sneakers and soda (pop pop pop!)/Pop goes the weasel them draws (drop drop drop!) , Serch and Pete would have had beef with the entire industry today. With the Vitamin Waters, clothing lines and reality shows, the line between selling out and "stayin' real" has become almost invisible.

The song however is a statement. Not just on wack MC's gettin paid for being company men but also taking someone's beat and loopin' it (loopin' it.). On the surface, it seems like a straight up jack of Peter Gabriel's huge 1986 hit Sledgehammer but it's so much more. The song is in fact layered with quite a few beats and samples.

Stevie Wonder is actually credited as a writer on the songs Universal Music entry on Youtube as well as he should be. The song borrows greatly from his hit You Haven't Done Nothin'. It also encompasses portions of The Who's "Eminence Front" and other groups. This song was an obvious response to Ice Ice Baby which is one of the best examples of straight up jacking with no creativity. To make it worse, Ice Van Winkle lied and said it wasn't the same beat and ended up getting sued. The underlying message of the song I believe was: "If you're gonna take something familiar and use it, this is how you do it! Make it interesting." Which is exactly what they did.

I'm pretty sure their approach to the use of the samples( and the video with Ice catchin' a good ol' fashioned mash out) is the reason why the song was so well received. At first listen it seems simple enough to get where the sample came from. It's after a few more listens where you realize the complexity that went into getting all the samples to go together just right. For that I salute the 3rd and their producers...I'm still mad as shit about that White Rapper Show though.

Damn Serch...

Pop Goes The Weasel-3rd Bass
Sledgehammer-Peter Gabriel
You Haven't Done Nothin'-Stevie Wonder


Commish CH said...

Nice just killed it on this track
Why score all my points in one peroid
Appearin in complex structure like a pyramid
The paper for the media presence
Ya learn lessons from the face of false legend
Stop vexin on the skills, ya ain't originate
The thin ice you skate upon will break and set ya straight
Ate up on the plate, now who's diesel

that could be his best work on their top hit. Rings true today too.

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