You should know something, especially for my next batch.
The first 16 bars of music are from “A.B.K.,” by MC Eiht, who recorded the intro during the summer of 1982, when he was 12. The music comes from the 1981 track “Gotta Be Real, ‘Cause I’m Dope,” by Kool Keith and E-40. I don’t know how it’s possible that the lyrics of “Gotta Be Real” aren’t more famous than the opening riff of “A.B.K.” – that opening riff being the title track of my book. There’s something powerful about the first bars of “Gotta Be Real, ‘Cause I’m Dope,” and it’s not just because of the beat. It’s also that the first one is a beat, and the one after it is a chorus of people, who’ve got a beat and a verse in their head. I’ve listened to this song so many times over the last ten years, and my brain keeps returning to it.
How important is it to make an intro that people can relate to?
Well, it helps to have something that comes along, so if you find some music that does feel like it’s real to you or feels like it might relate to you, then that’s the kind of intro that helps you find your voice. But also, if you find music that feels natural, it’s just that you’re hearing yourself, because you’re not being interrupted. When kids hear rap, they usually go into a song, and they’re really caught up, but when they hear an intro from a hip-hop artist, they’re usually blown away by a difference between the beat and lyrics. They’re listening to it so carefully and they’re getting it so fast, that they get caught in it and don’t have much time to actually process it
I’ve never written an intro in my life, just because I’ve never had an opportunity to write an intro in my life, but I want to. One of the things I’m always looking for is something that really connects with me, that feels natural or flows very naturally. It’s got to have a hook, or it doesn’t have the hook. It has to have some real emotion, because I’m usually the kind of person to be like, “Oh shit, I’ve got to play that song that rhymes, now.” I’m not that person. So there was a lot of looking at what
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