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djpretzel

OCR01125 - Astérix (NES) "Niggaz 4 Life"

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Bass beats and claps set the bouncy ground at the start, saying "check it, we got attitude." The ear-ringing whistle and pizzicato following them give the mix an urgent invitation akin to "now gather 'round and listen to my story about my beloved nigga." A reed organ supports the chorus like a parent offering adequate space for his/her child to explore the world around it. The windpipe-like synth at 0:40 seems sly but serious, as if cautioning "there's more to this story than meets the eye." The solo guitar halfway through offers a couch-lounging break to reflect upon things, and the piano appearing after that is a new bass solidifier and mood lightener. Even the octave rise from the source is saved for the end, bringing the sense of niggahood to a closer level. All the while, the beat flows on, confident in its danceability and quietly grinning to itself when it learns another person has been caught up in its contagious net.

The lyrics are so well put together that even when they're slightly asynchronous with the beat, they smoothly pour their energy (in rhyme and tone) into the next words. Many lines are both clever and hilarious, but the ones that really speak to me are:

"Till every Roman soldier bow downs" - a heartfelt wish and goal of every Gaul, to be sure.

"I waste half a language" - sounds like Obelix cusses up a storm as he struggles out of his Roman prison cage.

"Tallest blade of grass is the first to get shit upon" - life lesson right there.

Not just the words, but the vocals are equally all over the map, panned left, right, and center as they playfully change tones and pitches with abandon. A wacky masculinity haunts the chorus, Obelix starts with a lungful of helium before running out of breath (don't worry, he's just "wasting half a language" :D), and even Julius Caesar deigns to note his source of discomfort with a haughty wrinkle of his nose.

And of course I love every smartass quip, grunt, laugh, moan, and ad-lib sound effect that rides on the mainstream rapping. They're the donut sprinkles of the mix, coloring the camaraderie both raw and pure. The lightsaber-ish "bzz-bzz" when Star Wars is referenced, the hurriedly echoed "12-pack of maxi pads!", the howling during Dogmatix's part, the guttural "Amon~ Ra~", the yells of "IT'S ASTERIX!", "dinnertime" instead of "day or night" near the end... smiles all around. They practically comprise a separate song in themselves.

While it's not crystal-polished in terms of production, I've grown to love every idiosyncrasy that Niggaz 4 Life has to offer. zyko and Ubik had a ball crafting this mix, and I enjoy listening to it. Now every time I reach the bonus level in the NES game, I laugh and sing the lyrics of this mix.

One love indeed. <3

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This is another classic.

Usually rap remixes here turn into seriously poor and embarrassing performances, but zyko knows how to do it in a credible and inventive way. I love his range (all those different voices are GREAT), as well as his natural timbre.

This is funny as hell, I don't know why people get so upset over the usage of the word in question. I'm half-black, I know he doesn't mean harm with it, this rules guys.

Edited by Holy Land

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wacha i like this song, not the lyrics but the fact that i find it's a parody of the rap genre (in a good way) the beat while a little bland in my eyes i can see the rhythm and how it was used.

as for my two cents on the whole racial thing. i do not care about the word, it's how you use it. my cousin Vanessa (who is the only family member i love) is married to a black guy and he's awesome and i'm happy to be related to him.

 

my stepfather on the other hand....oh how racist that man is

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