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Magnificent
     

The Magnificent

by DJ Jazzy Jeff
 
It's easy to consider DJ Jazzy Jeff an old-school head, by simple virtue of his not being very active in the rap mainstream during the past ten years -- unlike the former Fresh Prince. Granted his first solo shot by BBE (the British beat ambassadors responsible for great hip-hop mixes by Pete Rock and

Overview

It's easy to consider DJ Jazzy Jeff an old-school head, by simple virtue of his not being very active in the rap mainstream during the past ten years -- unlike the former Fresh Prince. Granted his first solo shot by BBE (the British beat ambassadors responsible for great hip-hop mixes by Pete Rock and Kenny Dope, among others), Jeff keeps it hometown, inviting a wealth of Philly names, including Shawn Stockman (from Boyz II Men), Jill Scott, and, for four tracks, Pauly Yamz and Baby Blak. And just like some of his classic hits with Will Smith, The Magnificent comes very correct with beatbox breaks, jazzy guitar and keys, lots of vocal harmonies on the choruses, and the sub-frequency, almost percussive basslines often heard on later A Tribe Called Quest LPs. For the most part, Jeff keeps to the background -- every track here has a featured vocalist -- though Pauly Yamz and Baby Blak sing his praises on the title-track opener, and J-Live gives him plenty of room for scratching on the spectacular "Break It Down." It's hard to say how long DJ Jazzy Jeff took making these tracks, though The Magnificent has an incredible range; Jeff does it all well, even when moving from soulful R&B ("Rock Wit U" with Eric Roberson) to basement hip-hop on the very next track ("Scram" with Freddie Foxxx). Those who can make it to the end -- admittedly, 17 tracks are a lot to deal with -- get treated to a fun Roy Ayers redo, "We Live in Philly," with Jill Scott playfully stretching out on a dream-time vocal performance that references plenty of Philadelphia landmarks, along with a range of Philly celebrities: Dr. J, Pooh Richardson, Maurice Cheeks, Schooly D., Frankie Beverly, and Patti LaBelle among others.

Editorial Reviews

Vibe
A new-school architect, Jeff suffuses his album with a throwback vibe that recalls the early '90s work of A Tribe Called Quest, building beats from fluid guitar melodies, muted piano chords, and viscous bass lines. Oliver Wang
The Fader
The record tracks an arc from the kind of hip-hop that will go down well at Fat Beats -- intellectual rather than clubby, with MCs like J-Live and Last Emperor -- to soul, with a touch of the jazzy house that all soul DJs seem to have a secret passion for. In particular, there's a remake of Roy Ayers' "We Live in Brooklyn, Baby," voiced by Jill Scott and of course called "We Live in Philly." Ishmail Sadiq

Product Details

Release Date:
08/20/2002
Label:
Rapster
UPC:
0730003900822
catalogNumber:
8
Rank:
94370

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

DJ Jazzy Jeff   Primary Artist,scratching
Excel   scratching
Larry Gold   Conductor
Shawn Stockman   Background Vocals
Jeff Townes   Background Vocals
DJ Babu   scratching
Luisito Quintero   Conga
Emma Kummrow   Violin
Jay Ski   scratching
Patrick Sean McLain   Bass,Keyboards
Igor Szwec   Violin
DJ Q-Bert   scratching
Valvin Roane   Background Vocals
Eric Roberson   Background Vocals
DJ Revolution   scratching
Satone   scratching
Ben Kenney   Guitar
Raheem DeVaughn   Background Vocals
Alexandra Leem   Viola
Pete Kuzma   Organ,Keyboards,Vibes
Oddisee   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Masters at Work   Producer
Larry Gold   String Arrangements
Jeff Townes   Executive Producer
Mike Diver   Cover Photo,Digital Artwork
Kenny Dope   Producer
"Little" Louie Vega   Producer
DJ Jazzy Jeff   Producer
Peter Adarkwah   Executive Producer
Stephen Barken   Engineer
Kev Brown   Producer
Jimmy White   Engineer

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