Amplifier - Archives

Frank Zappa’s ‘Willie the Pimp’ Gets Hip-Hop Remix

Amplifier

View photo

.
Even though Frank Zappa was strongly opposed to the censorship of controversial rap acts like 2 Live Crew, the bizzaro-rocker's name isn't synonymous with hip-hop. Yet Zappa's 1969 jazz-rock album "Hot Rats" oddly continues to inform rap music more than four decades after its release. In 1993, Brooklyn rappers Black Moon used perhaps one of the first ever Zappa samples when they put a slice of "Son of Mr. Green Genes" into their song "Ack Like U Want It," and just last year the Roots were wrestling with whether to include a cover of "Hot Rats" opener "Peaches en Regalia" on their album "How I Got Over."

With two of the three songs off Side A of "Hot Rats" already part of hip-hop lore, DMC of Run-DMC and Talib Kweli have teamed up to contribute new verses for a remix of the third Side A song, "Willie the Pimp." The track always had what we considered a built-in hip-hop beat and a catchy sample-ready riff, so the remix makes sense to us even if it seems strange on paper. The remix is part of a new compilation called "Anything Anytime Anywhere For No Reason At All, Again Also" that marks what would have been Zappa's 70th birthday. The new "Willie the Pimp" will premiere tonight at a Grammy Museum event with Zappa's widow Gail Zappa on hand to discuss her husband's legacy in music.

While we anxiously await the remix, check out the original "Willie the Pimp," featuring the late Captain Beefheart on vocals:

View Comments