Soul Sides / Sliced: Breaking Beats Down

Breaking Down: The Souls of Mischief's "A Name I Call Myself" (1993)

One of my great loves in hip-hop production is the "beat suite" where a single song might switch up tracks — either partly or completely — several times throughout the song. The first example I really remember was The Beatnuts' "2-3 Break" but there's been many different examples through the years. My dude Robbie Ettelson of helpfully compiled a batch of his favorites a few years back.

I was recently listening to the Rotary Connection's excellent cover of "Respect" and it reminded me how the Souls of Mischief had used the fuzzed out psych guitar at the beginning of "Respect" for part of "A Name I Call Myself" (off '93 Til Infinity) and that lead me to listen to that song again (it had been a while) and maybe it's because I was a touch...uh, enhanced that I finally realized that "A Name I Call Myself" was a partial beat suite, much like Del's "Burnt," a B-side recorded by Del, featuring members of the Hieroglyphics, that appeared on the flip of the "Mistadobalina" 12". "Burnt" offers a bigger bounty as it switches up the main track at least 4-5 times (while still using the same drums throughout) but "A Name I Call Myself" rotates through its own quartet of primary samples as well, all done over an inventive flip on the classic "Synthetic Substitution" drums. Del is given full production credit for the track which was surprising since "Burnt" was produced by committee (Del, A+, Casual, Opio & Tajai). Regardless, after a few repeated spins of "A Name I Call Myself," I decided to sit down and give the song a Sliced treatment. 

Basics: "A Name I Call Myself" is comprised of five primary elements. 

This page references: