The Dr Dre track initially made for LL Cool J
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The Dr Dre track initially made for LL Cool J

Compton superproducer Dr Dre has made many iconic beats during his 30-year career. However, one of his self-produced tracks was initially made for the New York emcee LL Cool J.

Arriving seven long years after the release of his blockbuster debut album The Chronic, the album 2001 put Dr. Dre back on top of the rap game while , solidifying his status as Hip Hop’s preeminent sonic perfectionist.

Nearly a decade after his debut album, The Chronic, Dr Dre was looking to reinvent himself and, alongside his Aftermath co-founder Jimmy Iovine, decided to work on an album in 1999. While looking to modernise his signature G-Funk sound, Dr Dre ran across the 1971 track ‘Bumpy’s Lament’ by Soulman & The Brothers.

However, when LL Cool J heard this sample, which Dre planned on turning into a beat, he didn’t envisage it working on his album, G.O.A.T. In an interview with Greg Nice for the YouTube series Salute The Sample, the Queens musician explained, This was originally my beat. I had did a song with Dr. Dre, but it just didn’t quite work; it wasn’t right. So I was like, ‘Ahh.'”

DJ Z-Trip then proceeded to play ‘Bumpy’s Lament’, which many will recognise contains the melody of Dr Dre’s 1999 single ‘Xxplosive’ featuring Six-Two, Hittman, Kurupt and Nate Dogg. Strangely, the instrumental for the track has been passed around many times. After LL Cool J passed on what was made for him, the beat later fell into the lap of Royce Da 5’9”, who appeared alongside Dr Dre on an unreleased version called ‘The Way I Be Pimpin.’

After the release of The Chronic 2001 in 1999, the instrumental was then used as the backing track to the remix of Erykah Badu’s 2001 single ‘Bag Lady’. Furthermore, the instrumental was even sampled by Kanye West.

On his 2004 album, College Dropout, on the track ‘Last Call’, West explains how he sampled the drums of ‘Xxplosive’ for various instrumentals he had produced. Speaking over a beat, West stated, “So I went and um, I was listening to Dre Chronic 2001 at that time, and really, I just, like, bit the drums off ‘Xxplosive,’ and put it like with it sped up sample, and now it’s kind of like my whole style, where it started.”

Tracks that Kanye produced using the drums include Scarface and Beanie Sigel’s ‘This Can’t Be Life,’ and Jay-Z’s ‘Izzo (HOVA)’. You can listen to the original below.