My favorite track from one of my most sought after records, now being reissued by Mr. Bongo (audio)
Shout outs to Mr. Bongo for reissuing this album, so now I can talk about it in this space.
I think for anyone who seriously collects vinyl, we all have that holy grail record. That one record, if spotted in a record store or online, we would lose are minds. For me, that record is The Sylvers II. That might sound strange for those of you still living in the U.S., where the record just seemingly falls from the sky at regular intervals, but here in Japan, the album is a cherished rarity, regularly selling for over 10,000円. But why, at least for me anyways, is this album so sought after? Part of it has the number of times songs have been sampled from it; from J Dilla, Madlib, MF Doom, to whole host of others. But the one song that has always stuck out in my mind; Pete Rock’s sampling of “Stay Away From Me” for Ghostface’s “Be Easy”.
When I was just starting out as a DJ, “Be Easy” was one of the undeniable tracks that always made the room go wild. The gargantuan horns, the hard drums, the clever use of 808 bass that added just a bit more “umph” to an already hard track. I say all this because when I first heard “Stay Away From Me”, I immediately fell in love with it because of “Be Easy”. Pete Rock didn’t do much to the song because honestly, he didn’t need to. The original already the hard horn section and drums (with drum breaks aplenty littered throughout the song), some creative vocal harmony, arrangement, choruses, and an outro bridge that takes a great song and makes it one of the best “kid soul” tracks ever! And this just one song from an album that is littered with amazing moments. Now all I have to do is add this album to my collection and I can die happy…
The Slyvers’ The Slyvers II is out now on Mr. Bongo!
Bonus: Ghostface Killah – Be Easy