July 22, 2008

Messages From Black Men

Kevin Nottingham's This is Hip Hop has a running series called "Who Flipped It Better?" that we're hijacking to get your thoughts on an epic flow battle - Rza vs. Nas vs. Mos Def.

The original:

Message From A Black Man
Composed by Barrett Strong-Norman Whitfield
Performed by The Temptations

Souled On Music says "The Temptations released the track in 1969 on their Puzzle People LP. Although some critics and fans viewed the song's lyrics as being too political and militant, the track still became a popular radio request. It's often been said that The Temptations themselves were concerned about the tune being too forward-thinking for the times, resulting in their reluctance to play the track during live performances."

But nothing's too controversial these days though, right Nas? "Message" was also recorded or sampled by Charles Earland, Don Julian, S.O.U.L., Byron Lee & The Dragonaires, Mickey & The Soul Generation, The Spinners, The Whatnauts, and Derrick Harriott, MF Doom, and probably Girl Talk.

So considering production, flow and message - who flipped it better?

Mos Def - Undeniable (from True Magic, December 2006)

Rza - You Cant Stop Me Now feat. Inspectah Deck (from Digi Snax, March/June 2008)

Nas - You Can't Stop Us Now feat. Eban Thomas (from Nas, July 2008)

Buy it at Insound!


Anonymous said...

the whatnauts got that FIRE.

production wise, i always liked doom's flip of it on the geedorah album best.

BBV2 is coming out 8/8/08. you'll get a review copy around then, though i'm not pressing too many so it may be delivered digitally.


Anonymous said...


R.I.P. K-Swift and Estelle Getty

ryan said...

funny... i made a remix using that same sample about year ago and put "kanye/nas - classic" acapella over it

Anonymous said...

Nas ripped the track the best, no question...

But the Mos Def "flip" of the sample was the most interesting IMO...

RZA is still that nigga....