Episode 9 – Production techniques (Chopped Sample and Rearrangement)

Ced Gee from The Ultramagnetic MCs – Production techniques (Chopped Sample and Rearrangement)

Ced Gee

Ced Gee

Production techniques have evolved over time in Hip Hop but at times there have been instances which have sparked an evolutionary jump. In a previous Changing The Game episode, I talked about how 9th wonder evolved software based production but time we are going to talk about a hardware based producer.

The golden era of Hip Hop would have been different if not for Ced Gee from The Ultramagnetic MCs. Though Marley Marl had already begun to pioneer the use of samples by the time Ultramagnetic MCs released their classic album Critical Beatdown, Ced Gee was among the firsts to use the chopped sample and rearrangement technique. He was the first to use the chopped sample and rearrangement technique on a recorded song where not only the beat was used but part of the musical riff was chopped up as well. This is very evident in the song “Ego Trippin’” of the Critical Beatdown album.

Ced Gee was always wondering why Hip Hop music that was on the albums from MCs like the Cold Crush MCs, Grand Wizard Theodore and others did not sound like what was on the street cassettes. He found this out when he went to a studio and tried to record his own music. Back then, there was an unwritten rule amongst recording engineers in which samples that were chopped and rearranged that contained part of a music riff weren’t used. Ced Gee in his lack of understanding asked “Why not?” Without an answer that was good enough for him, he went ahead and made sure the exact sample he thought should be on the song for the street, was on the song for the album. The breaking of this rule changed the way people produce Hip Hop music on record. Credit also needs to be give to legendary recording engineer Paul C who was a recording engineer for Ced Gee and the Ultramagnetic MCs. Ced Gee credits Paul C who also was a very talented producer as well with helping him develop his style of production and says that they both traded production tips with each other.

Ultramagnetic MCs

Ultramagnetic MCs - Ced Gee is second from the right

So to reiterate, before, there was an unwritten rule by the recording engineers to not use certain musical riffs that were being chopped up and rearranged. However, after Ced Gee and to a certain extent Paul C decided to throw that rule away, anything and everything was game to being open to the chopped sample and rearrangement technique.

If you have any discrepancies to what you just heard, comments on what you just heard or have new ideas on who or what changed hip hop and I will challenge your ideas too then send an email to patrick@patrickscientific.com

Until next time peace

As heard on Strictly Hip Hop on WEAA 88.9 FM

Note: Ced Gee’s contributions to the development of hip hop-rap production have gone mostly unnoticed. Though he wasn’t credited, Ced Gee did most of the production work on Boogie Down Production’s classic album Criminal Minded even though Boogie Down Productions were responsible for the musical direction of the album. Ced did receive a “Special Thanks” mention on the back of the album.

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  • Mrkay7

    nice piece of info..i didn’t know that ced gee was the father of the chop style..he definetly is underrated

    • http://www.patrickscientific.com Patrick Scientific

      MrKay7: He was the first to do the chop sample with a musical riff
      included on a record. The sampling laws weren’t as developed as they
      are now. Marley Marl might have been the first to do the chop style
      in general but I’d have to research that more. I had to make sure I
      worded that piece very carefully not to step on any toes. I also had
      to throw Marley’s name in there too since he was a major producer back
      then.

      Quoting Disqus :