Jay-Z, Asamov Share Love for Same Moments’ Classic
The Internet floodgates opened this week with Jay-Z's forthcoming album 'The Blueprint 3' leaking in its entirety, following a steady few weeks of tracks gradually sneaking their way onto the blogosphere. Now that the full jawn has hit the net, leechers can rejoice in being the first of their friends to pick apart the album from front to back.
After giving the third installment of Jigga's 'Blueprint' series few spins, we couldn't help but add our two cents on one of the album's standout joints 'Empire State of Mind,' featuring Alicia Keys on hook duties and English producer Al Shux on the beat. And that's because the chalky instrumental, one of the gushiest soul beats on a Jay track since 'The Blueprint' dropped back in 2001, is familiar. For the sample-savvy, you'll already know where this is headed. The beat, which boasts a sped-up sample from The Moments' 'Love on a Two-Way Street,' makes 'Empire State of Mind' one of the high points of Hova's latest opus.
Hip-hop heads that proudly proclaim a vast knowledge of the underground scene will note that the use of 'Two-Way Street' is similar to the track constructed and used for 'Supa Dynamite,' the Mr. Lif-assisted lead single off of Asamov's (aka The AB's) first and only album 'And Now.' 'Supa Dynamite' promised to be the one-way ticket out of obscurity for the Jacksonville, Fla-based quartet, consisting of members Basic, Therapy, Willie Evans, Jr. and J-One-Da.
After their 2005 debut was greeted with critical acclaim yet failed to pick up any steam, Asamov was hit with a lawsuit from deceased author Isaac Asamov's estate to change their name to something that wouldn't tarnish the writer's reputation. The group became known as The Alias Brothers, but soon after fighting for creative control, the group dissipated and its members went their separate ways for unstated reasons.
Using the same sample isn't a new trend in the hip-hop game -- see: Consequence's use of the Moments' classic in the Kanye West-produced 'So Soulful' years back. No one said that hip-hop was a fair game -- just take a look at Jaz-O and De-Haven -- but it remains to be seen once 'Blueprint 3' officially drops where Jay-Z's 'Empire' got its start -- from the Moments or from the underground?