Friday, March 25, 2011

Because They Still Had It Like That

"Because I Got It Like That" was one of the many, many singles off of The Jungle Brothers' first album. Seriously, was there any song off that album that wasn't released as a single or B-side? Anyway, it was another great song in a series of great songs from them... The percussion pops like nobody's business and the JB's voices sound incredible over it. This is the song that features their sing-songy anthem,"dancing on the dance floor; girl, it's you that I adore" etc, that they also performed on De La Soul's "Buddy." The rest of the lyrics are pretty breezy and substance-less (impossible brags about money and girls), the scratches by Sweet Daddy are simple but effective, and the a crazy circus music loop on the hook seals the deal. It dropped in 1988 on Idlers Records, with a few variations of the Instrumental, but... this isn't that single.

This is the 1998 single of "Because I Got It Like That," which came out on Gee Street just after they were making their gritty comeback with album #4, Raw Deluxe, but before they went all house/club music on us. I guess Gee Street weren't quite sure what to do with these guys, so they rereleased their classic single, with a picture cover matching their Raw Deluxe style, and pushed some new, UK remixes. This is a US pressing, however.

The A-side is pretty much exactly what you'd expect. It takes the original elements of "Because I Got It Like That," speeds it up, adds erratic drums and turns it into a club record. Pretty much, the less said about this sort of junk the better, but I will say this. The mix, done by The Freestylers, was very well done, the transitions are smooth and effective, and clearly the guys making this knew what they were doing. The only problem is what they were doing is turning a hip-hop classic into terrible club music. But, if you're ever in a situation where you for some sick reason wanted to turn a hip-hop classic into terrible club music, these guys will do an excellent job.

No, the reason I singled this 12" out for blogging is the B-side remix, by Ultimatum. Now, Ultimatum is essentially The Stereo MCs, plus or minus an associate. And now I know what you're thinking: "Stereo MCs remixing a Jungle Brothers classic ten years after the fact? Pull over and let me out or I'll jump!" Look, I know their track record and was as wary as you... but it's dope!

First of all, it's still hip-hop... they don't turn it into house, electro, club or whatever else. In fact, they keep a lot of the original elements, including Sweet Daddy's scratches, which sound even tighter here. And the elements they add aren't keyboards or studio-made junk, but raw, lush samples. Chunky guitars and drums sound like they're taken off of some lost, 70's funk rock band, and then there's these great, blaring dusty horns on the hook.

Interestingly, this is actually a remix Fatboy Slim got a lot of mileage out of. He's often credited for doing this great remix of "Because I Got It Like That" (seriously, just do a search for "Because I Got It Like That Fatboy Slim"), but really he just played the Ultimatum Mix sped up. That's it. All the other credit goes to Ultimatum, who really created this version.

Now, this 12" also includes the original, Straight Out the Jungle mix, plus the instrumental for The Freestylers' mix. It's the kind of thing you can pick up super cheap because it was over-produced then and is under-appreciated now. 'Cause this looks like just one more in a long line of cheap, repackaged old school 12"s that dropped in the 90's. But there's something surprisingly worthwhile here; so if you miss the JB's in their prime, you'll be glad to slip this in your crates.


  1. yo. ultimatum mix from the 80s too. its a single uk release from that time. and its not an obscure horn break - its electric light orchestra. ask your mom ;)

  2. Now that's something. Many people overlooked these cats but their music was truly amazing. Their sound is innovative and in your face.

  3. Circus music loop is Sly and The Family Stone's "You Can Make it If You Try" off of "Stand!".