The Tone Setter.
The track that sets it all off.
The mixtape intro is easily the most important track of any mixtape or remix album I've ever done. Its the track that the avaerage cat skips and goes straight to the 1st song after hearing it once or twice, but I never skip intros. EVER! They set up an album or mixtape. Which leads me to tell you DJ's to step your intro game up (you can use these as a primer)
These are my all-time faves from all the projects I've done (in favorites order).
1. Cornerstone Mixtape #43 (2002)
Green Lantern's intro for Cornerstone Mixtape #8 is what inspired me to even do mixtapes and when I got an opportunity to do one I wanted to make it just as memorable. I got Juice (a Chicago rap and off-the-dome freestyle legend) to do the intro but at the last minute I decided to change the beat. Grand Theft Auto III was the hottest video game at the time and the opening credits music was my shit so I decided to use it for the intro. I do every mixtape intro for myself, so if you dont get it, you're like dude is rapping over a jazz loop. If you DO get it, you're like OH MY GOD...THIS DUDE FLIPPED THE THEME FROM GRAND THEFT AUTO 3!!!! What really touched my heart is there was a Cornerstone Mixtape that came out with a dvd about a year later and they were asking folks at this party which Cornerstone Mixtape DJ's they like the best and some cat said Mike Love. He obviously got it.
2. NBA Live Hosted by Antione Walker (2002)
Profound is one of very few MC's that I've ever approached in Chicago to do an intro and said I NEED...BLAH BLAH, SUCH AND SUCH and he delivered EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED THE WAY I PICTURED IT IN MY HEAD! I said, I'm doing a mixtape hosted by Antione Walker and I need an intro. Talk about 'Toine, the NBA live mixtape concept, MikeLove, and yourself (sounds easy enough but a lot of cats need waaaay more direction). The disco era Boston Celtics record kicks it off and the beat was inspired by the Trackmasters, who had flipped the Nike freestyle commercial into a really dope spot about the new AI joints with Jadakiss on the raps. I recreated the grindin' beat Trackmasters style with the ball bouncing, shoe squeaks, and the ball hitting the rim as kicks & snares. No 808 in the kick cuz theres no 808 in the ball bouncing :)
3. Psychodrama Universal Session (2006)
Short, sweet & to the point. This intro is one of my favorites because it sets the mood of the mixtape on some eerie, haunting shit. Buk & Psyde set it off with a not so serious intro that gets serious real quick. I jacked the music from The Ring II soundtrack because I wanted that motion picture shit feel . Vocal drops from Bobby Gore and Newsense and the vocal panning of Buk and the echoes make it hot (for me at least...as I've said before, I do these projects for myself 1st)
4. Nigerian Gangster (2008)
Ever had muhfuckas love something so much they make you love it? That's the Nigerian Gangster intro for me. Honestly, I think its dope. Musically, conceptually, everything. But Obamas (my new word instead of saying niggas) L-O-V-E-D-E-D that shit. Like, no for real, OBAMAS LOVEDED THEM SOME NIGERIAN GANGSTER INTRO! I remember always thinking, yeah it is really, really dope, but I didnt love it any more that the dozen or so others I'd done. If you listen to the other intros on this page, using soundbytes is nothing new to me. Placing all those drops in a row and making them all fit together like a puzzle was nothing new to me. You may hear it in the other intros or maybe you won't, but the Nigerian Gangster intro to me was something I'd done before countless times. (see free r. kelly intro)
But this time it was Fela so it was special to folks I guess...
However, after all those props I was getting on the project I started to say to myself, MY GOD THEY'RE RIGHT...I DO LOVE THIS INTRO!
5. Profound: The Mixtape (2005)
I just fuckin' like this one, and for a really long time it was my favorite of all the MikeLove intros but it was probaly heard the least because it was on an artist mixtape. Profound is an "underground" MC from Chicago that did a bunch of stuff for my old radio show on 'GCI. Since his mixtape was going to reach a gang of people who didnt know MikeLove was cold as hell, I wanted to show out. I used a gang of testimonials I recorded in the streets from people who'd heard of Pro and people who's never heard of him. Add some cuts & scratches and a dope beat and you have an all-time favorite that I rewind at least 10 times everytime I play it.
6. Free R. Kelly Vol. I (2002)
To this day, I've never seen the R Kelly sex tape but in 2002 after that shit leaked to the press everyone else and they mama sure did! Suprisingly there had never been an R. Kelly's Greatest Hits up to that point and no one had ever done a mixtape of Kells hottest joints. I figured this cd was the best way to kick off my first official mixtape & get the Mike Love Show series off the ground and running.
I was right.