It’s not rally fair to “review” these beats because even Premier has admitted this is “not his best work.” However, it’s still great to get a glimpse into his mind and to know that even the great ones make “rough drafts” from time to time. These are just my first impressions after hearing the instrumentals and who I think could have used them, if anybody.
1.Spin Live. The GZA would BODY this. The moans give it a very RZA feel and it’s slower than your typical Premier beat. Definitely too moody for Guru, maybe Jeru? Nah.
2.Sing Like Bilal. Sounds like something meant for a Gang Starr album.
Simple drums with a played bassline. The coolest part is the vocal sample of Lil Fame’s “Sing like b-low.”
3.Blow Horn Joint is just what it sounds like, chopped trumpet over drums. It sounds more like a hook than a beat to rhyme over though. Maybe a ghetto love song but who? MF Doom is just crazy enough to make this work.
4.Pee-An-Oh. So I’m not the only one who gives goofie titles to beats? This one ain’t bad. Another one for Guru with proper mixing and mastering. It sounds a bit hollow but the chops are on.
5.Mysterious. The way it starts I’m just waiting for MOP to come in and light the fuse when the drums come in…but they never do. This is definitely unfinished but the bass line and strings set me up for something potentially bananas. I may play the “Substitution” drums over this just to hear what it sounds like.
6. Dadaa, this is the first one I hear that should just be an instrumental. Nice interlude maybe, but it doesn’t cry out for a voice. The chops are doing all the talking.
7. Dink. Royce. First voice I heard when this came on. Dark piano chop, but not as pervasive as “Pee-An-Oh.” Change up is nice.
8. B-Line. This is a little softer than the others. I could actually hear Eric Roberson singing over this. That would be an ill collab. If not a singer then maybe Mos Def. Wait, he sangs, too. Shweet.
9.Trackhorn. The most “complete” of the tracks thus far. Drums hit hard and horn chop has a nice melody. I’d speed it up just a little bit and give it to SkyZoo.
10.Waaaa. I love the way this starts. The melody is a beautiful, echoing mess that can only be tamed by some wicked drums. “Long Red” was a great choice but my lazy ass would have just looped it instead of trying to chop it in.
11. Droop. Niiiice. I can hear him scratching in some loud MOP vocals for a hook. Of course it needs a change up, etc. but I’d throw a Kool G. Rap or Nas acapella over this in a heartbeat to see how it sounded.
12.The Original Represent. “WOOOOW,” Is all I have to say. This sounds so bare compared to the original, just drums and a bassline. I appreciate it as a piece of history and just knowing where it ended up raises all of these questions. I really want to ask Premier how he got from this to the finished product with the Thief of Baghdad sample.