Maaan, The First Time I Heard: “Climax” Slum Village
I have PLENTY of musical Dilla memories, but the one that probably sticks out the most is when I first heard Slum Village’s “Climax” from their album, Fantastic Vol. 2. So, let’s rewind back to the summer of 2000… My 12-year baseball career had just come to an end and I only had two classes remaining in order to graduate from Western Kentucky University. I was back home in Michigan for part of the summer and buying SV’s Fantastic Vol. 2 album was at the TOP of my to-do list at the time. I’m sure I probably looked through the latest issue of The Source magazine for an official release date, marked it down and made sure that when that Tuesday arrived, I was at the nearest music store, front and center at the cash register with a copy in my hand ready to purchase…
Already a huge SV fan off of tracks like “I Don’t Know”, “2U4U”, “Fantastic”, “The Look Of Love” and “Players” (later on, I’ll have to share that story as well), I was MORE THAN ready for a full-length album of theirs to be released. The date finally came… Tuesday, June 13, 2000. It was nice outside because I can remember driving over to Sam Goody with all of my windows down. Now, let’s also keep in mind that I had a couple of 12″ subs in the trunk of my car as well (I had them put in because of yet ANOTHER DIlla-produced track… A Tribe Called Quest’s “Find A Way”). I arrived at the spot, ran in, found and purchased the Slum CD, got back into the car and tore away the wrapping with my trusty “EZ-CD opener” they used to give us at the beginning of each college year and popped the album in the player. After the intro, “Conant Gardens” hit me over the head with a stand out bass riff that was perfectly complimented by those signature hard ass Jay Dee drums that SNAPPED, followed by “I Don’t Know” and “Jealousy”…… and then after a brief phone skit starring Jay Dee and a young lady, the phone convo broke away very quickly right into into Dilla saying,
“You ain’t gotta play hard to get….. I know you….”
The beat dropped in with this eerie, yet pretty atmospheric filtered out chords while the first clap hit on the “know”…..By this time I was already completely captivated by the first half of the beat… And then it happened….. I wasn’t ready for it at all. The first two notes of that thick bassline pushed through my subwoofers and my mind was absolutely blown and all I could manage to get out was, “YOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” …And JUST when I didn’t think it couldn’t get any better after Dilla’s verse…… The hook came in. Tina Marie Glover a/k/a Airasoul came in with….
“I want you right heeeeere in my worrrrrld……
…..beeeein’ witchu all alone, is like a dreeeam COME true, true, true….”
But that wasn’t the wild shit…. The WILD shit was, underneath her vocals they scratched in the “Space Intro” joint by Steve Miller Band, which at the time I had recently picked that same SMB album up in a dollar bin at a store in Nashville. I heard that piece and I LOST it, literally. With all of those contributing factors coming together at once, I tell NO lie… I almost ran myself off of the road……. IN MY OWN NEIGHBORHOOD. I wasn’t paying attention to anything but the elements that made up this excellence of a song and almost ended up in somebody’s ditch….Thank you, SV for damn near raising my car insurance in 2000.
Who would have known that I would be in the Barak Studios working with these kats less than three years later. They don’t know this story either… lol
“Maaan, the first time I heard…” is a series of blog entires I’ll be putting together where, you guessed it… I recall the first time I placed my ears on specific songs or albums. This should be fun as well as a test in how effective this daily dose of gingko biloba is that I ingest with my ‘bruffus’…