I was just walking around and, as I’ve been doing for the past couple of days, thinking about how kick-ass the leaked Nas track “Hip Hop Is Dead” is. Pretty much everything about it is rad: Nas regaining his effortless flow after sounding kinda forced on 2004’s Street’s Disciple (though overall it’s actually a way better record than most people give it credit for), the dude singing the bridge, the whole “Another Brick in the Wall”-ish chant part, and the samples of the Incredible Bongo Band that Nas promised in an article in last weekend’s New York Times.
The main riff is the IBB’s take on “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” and while considering its kick-ass-ness it occurred to me that I have probably never, ever played Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” on purpose. That’s probably because the song — like Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild” and, if you live anywhere near Detroit, the entire Bob Seger catalog — is just about ubiquitous. I can’t recall putting it on the stereo myself, and yet I can’t imagine a time in my life when I didn’t know that riff. Aside from that riff, I don’t even like the song, but I like it being there. Just in case I ever decide I want to hear it, rather than just happening to hear it.