Thursday, January 13, 2011

Electric Relaxation: Main Source "Looking at the Front Door"

This is one of those classic hip hop songs that I think everybody loves when you hear it. I used to hear it growing up in the summers on the old school hour. That Donald Byrd sample and drum break was almost perfect bliss and that "ooh oooh ooooh" for the hook was golden.

Main Source is mainly the brainchild of the one of the most underrated hip hop MC's/producers of all time - Large Professor. Breaking Atoms is arguably one of the best produced albums of that era (hip hop heads know that it's got the debut of a 17 yo kid named Nasir Jones). This song is his defining legacy as much as the 3 songs he produced on Illmatic.

It's a happy song musically but lyrically he's describing if he wants to stay with a chick who's bugging him for a variety of reasons. He keeps "looking at the front door" to escape and the 3rd verse warns her to shape up or else he's gone. It's not what you expect from a party jam but the Extra P plays that Native Tongues vibe of self-deprecation perfectly, making you feel his pain but still sounding optimistic.

It's the hip hop jam most wish they could write. A timeless classic that I wish more people knew about so I'm sharing it with you. I don't want to say songs are perfect but this is one pretty close to it from the lyrics to the execution to the production.

Donald Byrd "Think Twice" is the main sample which folks may recognize from a few other classics (Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam "Let the Beat Hit Em" and A Tribe Called Quest "Footprints") But last year, I finally discovered where that "oooh oooh oooooh" sample came from. Courtesy of DJ Funktuall and his youtube series goodness, it comes from the Pazant Brothers "Chick a Boom" if you skip ahead to 1:23. Bring da funk!

(For more proof of Large Professor's skill - peep "A Friendly Game of Baseball", one of the best extended metaphors I've ever heard in HH)


  1. But i'm trying to find out where that first sample comes around 8 sec in... A guy singing something (and it does not belong to, donald nor the brothers above). This shit got me crazy.

  2. Good question. I don't think I've figured that out cause that Pazant Bros. sample I didn't know for years. Somebody's gotta dig that one up.