Sunday, April 18, 2010

Did They Do The Sample Justice? Rhymefest - Familiar Faces on Gary Jules - Mad World

I'm always a fan of artists grabbing a song from a different musical genre and flipping it with their own touch of Hip Hop. This track is no exception, as Chi-town native, Rhymefest re-did Gary Jules' track Mad World to the fullest.

You may be scratching your head wondering wtf Gary Jules is, but I bet you've heard the track narrating the commercial for Xbox's Gears of War :

or even in the movie Donnie Darko starring Jake Gyllenhaal (see clip below)...

There's something undeniably depressing and haunting about this track and most of it (obviously) comes from the lyrics...
"And I find it kind of funny,I find it kind of sad, The dreams in which I'm dying, Are the best I've ever had"
Gary Jules takes the mood of the track waaaay past being simply lyrically depressing with his shaky, pleading tone. The folks who chose this track for the Gears of War commercial are geniuses because as a whole the song epitomizes the uncertainty of imminent danger closing in on you. The track makes the feelings unpredictability and skepticism that creeps into all humans' brains very real. Regardless of whether it's good or bad, a track that can capture emotion and portray it in such a palpable way is deserving of my respect.

Which is why I'm really glad a talented storyteller like Rhymefest took on the challenge of sampling this track and making it his own. I say that because this isn't the first time 'fest has taken a folk track and put a Hip Hop spin on it. Who could forget his intense mix of Citizen Cope's Bullet and a Target. Similar to this track, Rhymefest took more of a serious, storytelling realistic angle on the lyrics, first about how young kids sign up for the army and are shipping away into battle...furthering the "Bullet and a Target" song name and breathing life into the metaphor with a literal shot of reality, then warning of the dangers of unprotected sex and how that can put you in the path of a bullet. Each tale equally harsh, but fitting for the subject matter.

This time he again matched the mood of the track to a T, with lyrics like:

" can feel my rage, I'm burning inside nobody can speak my language, we all wanna be different but we're doing the same shit!"

"Same heartbreak we carry the same scars, I carry the same scars!! And when you've finally made it, there's no real friends just smiling faces..."

"Does it start on our birthday? Half of us wasn't even planned in the first place, other half of us was given everything we got, there you have it, the have and the have nots, I was born on a black spot, my life's a plane this song is the black box"

"It's hard to separate reality from fantasy, So does it matter if I'm here or not? If no one's around could you hear the shot? Would my father miss me? You think a tear would drop? And would the world stop spinning...and the clock stop?......I think not"

Wow...heavy stuff...I could never find myself thinking this negatively in real life, but some would argue a lot of the points he made on this track are a shot of realism. For example, when you've finally made it big, you attract a lot of people who hang around you for money (the smiling faces he calls them) and the notion that a lot of people don't have to work hard to be given opportunities in life (the haves/have nots). It's all interesting and delivered in a dramatic way with the help of underrated producer Emile, who is starting to be known as the king of depressing productions (he produced much of Kid Cudi's Moon Man album).

In addition to checking this track out, you should do is cop Rhymefest's new mixtape titled Dangerous 5:18 Mixtape. The track below is on it along with a track he did with John Mayer titled Letter. In case you can't tell, I definitely believe Rhymefest did do the Gary Jules sample justice...opinions?

Gary Jules feat Michael Andrews - Mad World Folk Classic!!!

Rhymefest - Familiar Faces (prod by Emile) Great Sample!!!


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