Hip-hop always walks a fine line between sampling and copying, and Brooklyn rapper Red Cafe, who we haven’t heard as a primary feature since January’s Hottest in Da Hood, takes it to the next level on his new street single I’m Ill. On the production side producer Boi Wonda heavily uses a Jay-Z vocals as the track’s hook, while also pulling in a sample of Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s old school jam It Takes Two. On the lyrical side of the equation Café delivers some solid but largely uninspired verses, and while guest artist Fabolous brings his usual assortment of clever punchlines – “Still on my Grizzly, no Iverson” - truly knowledgeable hip-hop heads will catch a couple lines Loso lifted from other emcees (can you name them)? Is I’m Ill a dopely sampled tribute, or a bit of a rip-off? As always, I’ll leave it up to the Booth to decide. I’m Ill is tentatively apart of Red Cafe’s upcoming Bad Boy debut, The Shakedown, due out sometime in 2010.
Written by matt juss on 12/13/09
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