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Back With Another One Of Those Poplocking Beats

Derek Walmsley

Still in the electro zone following Dave Tompkins's The Wire salon (see The Mire passim), I find myself slipping through wormholes of sample sources, song theft and shout-out references. Today in the office we're booming Zapp & Roger's "So Ruff, So Tuff":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eksaGYygLsw

Which sends me back to a personal favourite, Ronnie Hudson And The Street People's "West Coast Poplock", which borrows a chunk of Zapp, and adds the iconic lyric "California knows how to party":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmJXjDhpA_s

Documentary evidence of real-life poplocking to Ronnie H can be found here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02HxXrVlr2U

The Hudson lyric was later, of course, borrowed by 2pac's "California Love", which featured Zapp's Roger Troutman:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWOsbGP5Ox4

Which melded it with the sample from Joe Cocker's incredible track "Woman To Woman":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PmRNUToamI

A track which itself had been sampled by the Ultramagnetic MC's late 80s track "Funky":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq_C01YkmnM

In a neat reversal of the usual magpie sample theft of hiphop, Zapp & Roger did their own version of "California Love" later:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMa62lS0iVI

This much I knew already – funnily enough from the soundtrack to the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas computer game (whoever compiles those soundtracks has got a seriously great record collection). But what I didn't know till now, thanks to a bit of googling, was that "West Coast Poplock" itself borrowed it's main riff from Booker T And The MG's "Boot Leg":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZK2t1YnDPs

And that track has its own hiphop history, having been borrowed by Cypress Hill:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8at2twL6gBI

With this dense web of connections, moving both back and forth along the timeline, "West Coast Poplock" seems something like the keystone of hiphop, a crucial multi-way node in rap history. But perhaps out there is the another track which has even more points of connection – the Higgs boson of hiphop, connecting everything to everything:

Whatever it is, my guess is that DJ Funktual in Fort Lauderdale, Florida has already found it. His long running series of ten-minute shows on YouTube breaking down who-sampled-what are compulsive viewing, and take you as close to the sheer time-shifting delight of finding these connections as anything out there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfqlG8gSkeA

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