Thursday, 5 February 2009

Welcome Back

Poor Mase. After a five year hiatus, time spent getting ordained as a preacher, he signalled his return to hip hop with this charming little ditty:

The sample is taken from the theme tune to a US 70s TV show called 'Welcome Back Kotter', (with John Travolta in it!) about a teacher who returns to his old school in order to try and impose some order on the new generation of delinquent hoodlums.

The problem for Mase is that he chose to sample a hook that had already been sampled, in my opinion more successfully, by Onyx in the 90s for their standout track, 'Slam Harder'.

I'm not sure if Onyx's choice of sample had anything to do with the subject matter of 'Welcome Back Kotter'; in their video it looks likes the sweet animated dudes and dudettes from Disney's Recess have been re-animated, 'Enchanted-style', and force-fed a strict diet of crack and crystal meth, pausing only to wash it all down with lashings of purple drank and donut the playground. So where does this leave Mase? Well, in short, thoroughly un-gangster. It certainly doesn't help having Sean Combs bigging you up half-way through the tune on a soap box in Times Square. Shit, even the 'Streetdogs' from 'Welcome Back Kotty' would turn their noses up at his LAME ghetto posturing. On the plus side, it is a nice sample, and I guess Mase had been out the game for a while at this point. Perhaps a case of if it aint broke? Oh, and I should say that I do quite dig his proto-Kanye get up, especially those boxfresh Force Ones at 0.25 seconds.

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