This is the third volume in the Gold Digging Series which previously covered Kanye West and Jay Z. This time round the attention is focussed on Tupac and this CD contains the full original tracks of some 20 songs which were sampled as the basis for some of Tupac’s biggest hits.

Any people now list Tupac as the biggest selling Hip Hop artist of all time with over 73 million albums sold world wide and having an astonishing 17 top ten singles in the USA. Some of Tupac’s biggest songs are covered here including the hits Changes, Do For Love, California Love and Mad At Ya amongst many others.

Disc 1

01. Bobby Caldwell – What You Won’t Do For Love
02. Bruce Hornsby & The Range – The Way It Is
03. Ronnie Hudson – Wet Coast Pop Lock
04. Joe Cocker – Woman To Woman
05. Linda Clifford – Never Gonna Stop
06. Kool & The Gang – Winter Sadness
07. JB’s – Spank
08. DeBarge – Dream
09. Dennis Edwards – Don’t Look Any Further
10. Quincy Jones – Body Heat

Disc 2
01. Zapp – Computer Love
02. Minnie Riperton – Inside My Love
03. Funkadelix – Get Off Your Ass & Jam
04. Five Stairsteps – Ooh Child
05. Sly & The Family Stone – Sing A Simple Song
06. Mr Mister – Broken Wings
07. The O’Jays – Brandy
08. The Bar Kays – Holy Ghost
09. Cameo – Candy
10. People’s Choice – Do It Anyway You Wanna

We are taken through the obvious funky sounds of James Brown (Blind Man Can’t See and Spank) as well as Sly & The Family Stone (Sing A Simple Song) through to the more modern examples of Cameo (Candy) and the quite unexpected Bruce Hornsby & The Range (The Way It Is).

I love this sort of thing as I used to go digging for breaks and now this CD means many are delivered in one easy batch. If you want to sample them up it isn’t as easy as wax because you can’t put the needle right onto the break as you could with a record, but at the same time, many producers will not touch these samples as they have been used before.

You can be original and chop them up or use unexpected bits of the tracks, but for me this is more interesting just to listen to. Firstly because it is interesting to see how producers hooked up the bits they sampled and how appallingly obvious some of the uses are, but also because these days I am tired with so much Hip Hop and I can prefer to listen to the original breaks.

There are some great tracks on here and it rates as a compilation even if you take away all the Tupac connections. Even if you are a breaks collector it is unlikely that you will have all of these in your collection, although there could be a good few you’d have already. So I would recommend this release, both to Tupac fans, but also to anyone who has receptive and open ears. Check it out.

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