"Now if you check my pulse it beats Skull Snaps." — Beastie Boys, "Unite"
Last month, after Pigeon John graced the stage (more on his performance in a few days, seriously) and before Slick Rick blessed the crowd, everyone in attendance was treated to the funk stylings of the Skull Snaps. Unless your funk catalog runs deep or you're obsessively digging in the crates, you've probably never heard of the Skull Snaps. My funk catalog runs shallow and the last time I checked, my crate digging days were over.
Skull Snaps was a mysterious funk group that only released one album on the small GSF label in 1973 before disbanding. Skull Snaps is also the name of that album. Skull Snaps' main claim to fame is not its quality, but that the drum breaks on it have been sampled numerous times on rap and hip-hop records; the familiar opening drum pattern of It's A New Day can be heard in songs by well-known acts such as Ol' Dirty Bastard and The Prodigy. This, added to the fact that is a rare record, means it often trades for $200 to $300 between collectors. The first person to sample "It's A New Day" was New Haven, CT Hip Hop artist Dooley-O. (Wiki)
But you don't have to own a Skull Snaps record to recognize their immense contribution. Just listen to the opening drum pattern of It’s a New Day and your brain will start firing with recognition. For a comprehensive retrospective of the Skull Snaps, click here. Click here to read and listen to the Crate Kings 30 Greatest Hip-Hop Drum Breaks, with It's A New Day coming in third.
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MP3 - Skull Snaps - It's A New Day
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