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The 25 Best DJ Premier Beats

11. M.O.P. "Downtown Swinga '96" (1996)

Album: Firing Squad
Label: Relativity

Simple, like so many of the best things in the world: a deep bassline that might have been played on keyboard Stevie Wonder used on "Superstition" (but that actually comes from a live version of fusion flautist Hubert Law's "I Had a Dream"), a straight-up-and-down boom-bap thump and clicking high-hat that drags like a cigarette being snubbed out every something-I-can't-figure-out-the-syncopation beat. A patient, take-your-time backdrop for Billy Danze and Lil' Fame to bark their gruff aggression. What could be better? It's not complicated. But it sure is hard. Dave Bry

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