This week we take a closer look at Donald Byrd's oft-sampled in hip-hop gem "Wind Parade" - a track you've heard more times than you even think. The long time bebop jazz musician only passed away a few short years ago (Feb. 4, 2013) but in his 80 years he left a LONG musical legacy behind. Not only was he a gifted trumpet player, he had a keen insight into the machinations of the music industry, and famously advised a young Herbie Hancock not to give up the publishing rights on his music to Blue Note Records in exchange for getting a contract to record his album. The label caved, Hancock got his deal, and later profited handsomely from Byrd's advice.
Perhaps there are some hip-hop artists reading this today who can also profit from the wisdom of Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd the 2nd. Either way they can enjoy a musical catalogue that spans from the mid-1950's to the early 2000's of Byrd as either the featured performer or leader of his own ensemble. "Places and Spaces," the album the widely sampled "Wide Parade" hails from, came out when I was only a year old! He was still recording for 25 more years after that. To put it bluntly you just can't f--k with his catalogue. We'll be coming back to him for WSIB many times.
"Wind Parade" is one of those songs where I feel like I know in advance which classic rap song will get the votes, and yet in my own mind the four selections I've laid out for you below are all equally worthy. Before you place your vote I urge you to listen to at least a minute of each track and really think about how "Wind Parade" was chopped up, looped, altered and reinterpreted in the context of hip-hop music. I don't think there's a wrong answer among these four choices, but we'll see what trends emerge over the next week as the votes come in.
#1.) Black Moon - "Buck Em Down"
#2.) 2Pac - "Definition of a Thug Nigga"
#3.) Wale - "Thank God"
#4.) Organized Konfusion - "Stray Bullet"
Now it's up to you! Place your vote for the best below.
Who Sampled It Better? Donald Byrd's "Wind Parade." Your vote determines the winner for WSIB next week! #hiphop