Erule – Listen Up (1994) (Video)

Most people would agree that the early 90's, often referred to as the golden era, was the best period in Hip Hop. There were many factors that went into this unwritten theory besides sound alone, most of it coming as a result of mass media's sudden realization that hip hop can be marketed. While hip hop was permeating everything from fashion, to publications, to television, record labels seemed to be signing artists left and right, hoping to capitalize on the hip hop gold rush. What ended up happening is that there were a lot of great emcees that sprouted from that era and went on to create a legacy for themselves, some of whom are still relevant today. Other groups were just copied whatever was popular, and they fizzled out. And then, there was the forgotten bunch. The emcees that were really fresh, that had talent, that could swim with the best of them, but for one reason or another, never flourished like their counterparts. That brings us to an emcee that may have gotten swept under the rug, but his song entitled Listen Up is a certified hip hop classic, and he creatively used a Roy Ayers sample in a way that was different than the others. This emcee's name is Erule.

Not much is known about Erule. He is from Los Angeles, he had a couple more albums after this single, and maybe a couple before. While most emcees roll with a crew, there is not one that he is affiliated with that I know of. The only reason people may heard another Erule song is because they had the Listen Up 12″, and the (equally fresh) song Synopsis was on the b-side. He may have gone down as a one hit wonder, but Listen Up

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defines the essence of hip hop. His cadence and flow is still jaw dropping nearly twenty years later, his voice matches perfectly over the Roy Ayers sample, the video is unique and impressive, even the scratches on the hook are really nice, crisp, and clean.

Simply put, this song is perfection.

As mentioned before, Erule's interpretation of Roy Ayers' Everybody Loves the Sunshine is quite unique, much different than any other version that you've heard, even till this day. The beat was produced by King Born Allah who's body of work mirrors that of Erule, but his tr this song is genius. You hear more layers, as if the beat were replayed, and you also hear extra guitar licks, piano riffs, and other synths that gives the beat a fullness that helps it translate well to a hip hop instrumental. It is also nice to hear the piano have a bit of a solo at the end, and there is an extended break where the DJ is adding some great scratches that were impressive for that time period.

Although Erule's rap career didn't grow to mainstream success, the single Listen Up is a bona fide classic, and even today we can still marvel at the skill of Erule and King Born Allah, and their teamwork to produce this masterpiece.

As an honorable mention, this is Synopsis, the extremely fresh, jazzed out hip hop b-side that has often gone unlooked.

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Written by: @Haylow



MUSIC | LISTEN UP | By ERULE [1994] | 1 of The Best Uses of “Everybody Loves The Sunshine | | via @RoyAyersProject

posted by Expressions Ent. (@EXP1985) on 05.18.12 at 9:46 am

Ahh, look at all the homies! Nice throwback. =) RT @RoyAyersProject: Erule – Listen Up (1994) (Video) |

posted by Dr. Milfy (@IsWhatItIz) on 05.22.12 at 11:18 am

that beat/sample has been lodged in my mind since the 90’s, and ive never known which rapper sampled it until today-thanks alot for this…

posted by gasoline on 01.29.13 at 1:23 am
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