It was one of the biggest mysteries and production debates in Hip-Hop. Because Havoc isn’t talking (probably because he didn’t clear the sample), fans have been digging on their own to identify the main, ominous melody used for “Shook Ones, Part II.” After years of debates, it now appears the elusive original track has finally been found.
First, let’s cover the other three samples used on the song. The famous opening notes come from Quincy Jones’ “Kitty with the Bent Frame,” and the drums courtesy of Daly-Wilson Big Band’s “Dirty Feet.” The chorus is from Mobb’s “Shook Ones Part I.”
QUINCY JONES “KITTY WITH THE BENT FRAME” (1972) (SAMPLE AT 1:16 MARK)
DALY-WILSON BIG BAND “DIRTY FEET” (1975) (BEGINNING NOTES)
For years, everyone believed the main melody was a sample of this track, “Thackeray Meets Faculty,” from composer Ron Grainer. It’s easy to hear why; it sounds just like it in parts. The only problem was no one could ever replicate the exact melody with their equipment despite claims the sample chop could be heard everywhere from the 52 second mark to 2:28 in.
RON GRAINER “THACKERAY MEETS FACULTY” (1967)
Earlier this week, some diggers over at the-breaks.com and soulstrut.com deunked the theory after disclosing their find of Herbie Hancock’s “Jessica.” There are two versions of the song: one LP version of Fat Albert Rotunda, and a live version on VSOP: The Quintet. Since the live one has audience feedback, the LP version was the one that was utilized. Instead of it being a guitar sample, it turns out Havoc actually took the beginning piano notes, which come in around the 3-4 second mark. After slowing down and pitching the notes, you get the famous “Shook Ones, Part II” melody. Check it out for yourself.
Now let’s hope Havoc doesn’t get sued.
HERBIE HANCOCK “JESSICA” (1969)
(WITH SAMPLE PITCHED AND SLOWED DOWN)