In 2012, there’s a lot of hip-hop to behold. Are you the awkward, silent one in a group discussion of Big L’s best album? Ever wanted to get into trip-hop, but didn’t know where to start? Are you an Eminem fan who’s unfamiliar with the phat shit he did with Rawkus? “Hip Me To…” is RESPECT.‘s new series in which we shamelessly break down some of hip-hop’s most known unknowns for you to read in the private warmth of your laptop’s glow. Get schooled.
Made up of Poke and Tone, the Brooklyn raised hip-hop producer duo known as Trackmasters have put their sonic footprint over urban music since 1990 when an Uptown Records A&R by the name of Puff Daddy got in contact with the group, which resulted in “Be Happy” by Mary J. Blige. Later, that relationship would also allow them to work with several artists on the Bad Boy roster such as Faith Evans and Notorious B.I.G. After signing with Columbia Records, the Trackmasters were given their own imprint and signed a newcomer called Nas in 1992. They did not have any production work on his first album, but produced the majority of Nas’ sophomore effort, It Was Written, which is his best-selling album to date with over two million copies sold in the United States.
The Trackmasters’ biggest hits usually invovled an R&B-style chorus, such as in “Get Me Home” by Foxy Brown featuring Blackstreet and “If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)” by Nas featuring Lauryn Hill. The samples were usually recognizable, such as the Mtume sample in “Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G., giving the song a familar feel, while the classic boom-bap style bassline still retained a slight hardcore and gritty vibe. It is this style that has gained them 23 number one singles and five Grammy awards making them some of the most successful hip-hop producers in history.
Where Do I Start?
- Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – “Ill Street Blues”
- Heavy D & The Boyz – “Move on”
- LL Cool J ft. Keith Murray – “I Shot Ya”
- Foxy Brown ft. Jay-Z – “I’ll Be”
- Will Smith – “Men In Black”
- Jay-Z – “Jigga That Nigga”
- Ludacris ft. T-Pain – “One More Drink”
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