Unkut Originals – Bob James Unkut

Artwork by Tony Bones

Last week I threw together this compilation focusing on the best uses of Bob James’ ‘Nautilus’, which I consider to be the greatest break ever. Just to make shit official, I called upon Elliott Wilson (who’s currently preparing to launch his Rap Radar site on Jan. 20 of next year) to drop his thoughts on my selections.

Download: Bob James Unkut

Bob James – ‘Nautilus’

Makavelliott: Eternally soothing on the ears. Make a better break! We dare ya.

Robbie: Pretty much any record that uses this or ‘UFO’ is pure win.

Ghostface Killah – ‘Daytona 500’

Makavelliott: Jeffrey Tao-Kang Mao at the Wu Mansion. Go do ya research!

Robbie: May be partially responsible for that Speed Racer movie, but was unable to revive the career of the Force MD’s? Where’s the justice?

Deuces Wild – Deuces Is Def

Makavelliott: When the Boogie Down is in the house. Oh my God!

Robbie: Records like this help me to forgive Flex for his later crimes against good taste.

Dynas feat. Skam – ‘Dime Out’

Makavelliott: Mr. Ettelson put on. Never heard this one before.

Robbie: Sub-par verses saved by a top-notch chop.

EPMD feat. Redman – ‘Brothers on my Jock’

Makavelliott: The brothers from Brentwood Long Island bring us the Jersey nigga with the snot rag up his nostril.

Robbie: Insert your own Erick Sermon gay joke here.

Eric B. & Rakim – ‘Follow The Leader’

Makavelliott: I’m still following.

Robbie: The only Space Rap you’ll ever need. Also the first record I ever stole.

Eric B. & Rakim – ‘Let The Rhythm Hit Em’

Makavelliott: And you thought that Tribe got the jazz. Nah son. The 18th Letter.

Robbie: The rare exception where the original outshone the 45 King remix.

Group Home – ‘Inna Citi Life’

Makavelliott: You know Preemo had to touch this one to make his producer tour de force perfecto.

Robbie: I heard they tried to ban this tape in Ohio after some kid actually hit his mom’s with a metal pipe.

Ice Cream Tee – ‘Keep Hushin’

Makavelliott: You down with Tony D? Yeah you know me.

Robbie: I wasted a buck on her CD on the strength of this track. Ain’t the devil happy?

Jadakiss feat Sheek Looch & Styles P – ‘Its Like That’

Makavelliott: Pete Rock givin’ Robbie a reason to listen to new rap.

Robbie: This fulfills D-Block‘s contractual obligations to include one non-keyboard beat on every album.

Jeru The Damaja – ‘My Mind Spray’

Makavelliott: Underrated gem from a classic jump-off opus.

Robbie: I’m still trying to get a bar of that ‘Come Clean’ promotional soap.

Ultramagnetic MC’s – ‘Bait’

Makavelliott: How do you explain to today’s youth the power of the right radio promo?

Robbie: This song was the true litmus test when I was a kid – if you didn’t know ‘Bait’, you didn’t know shit!

Ultramagnetic MC’s – ‘Ced Gee (Delta Force One)’

Makavelliott: It’s mostly tha voice.

Robbie: Ced was kinda nice before he started rapping like a broken android on Four Horsemen.

Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth – ‘Bust A Lil’

Makavelliott: A muthafuckin’ Manwich breakbeat sandwich.

Robbie: Can’t get enough of that demo stuff.

Lord Shafiq – ‘My Mic Is On Fire’

Makavelliott: Guess who’s album that one was on?

Robbie: Lucky I copped this for five bucks before it became a hundred dollar record. Word to ‘Robo Doc’.

Main Source – ‘Live At The BBQ’

Makavelliott: “The S word Like Us”? Pardon me, I had to laugh at that.

Robbie: Remember when Joe Fatal said there was another version of this? Large Pro says, ‘Nah, man’.

Onyx – ‘Throw Ya Gunz’ (instrumental)

Makavelliott: JMJ never lied.

Robbie: There’s a reason I left the shout scream rap off this one.

Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘Sun Wont Come Out’

Makavelliott: Without Unkut you never would’ve heard the ‘Scenario’ demo.

Robbie: Without ego trip‘s Book of Rap Lists you’d all be blogging about indy rock.

Run-DMC – ‘Beats To The Rhyme’

Makavelliott: Pause Mr. Kinison. Pause sir.

Robbie: This and ‘Run’s House’ are the only reason that Tougher Than Leather wasn’t shipped directly into the dollar bin.

Skinny Boys – ‘Poison This Place’

Makavelliott: What if Jigga changed his name to Shockin’ Shawn Carter?

Robbie: If only these guys hadn’t made a song with the Wee Papa Girl Rappers. That’s like having Ted McGinley join the cast of your sit-com.

The Are – ‘Clap Ya Hands’

Makavelliott:I fucks with the Abstract’s original more. Maybe it’s just me.

Robbie: Tip’s new album should be called ‘Quiet Storm 2008’.

A Tribe Called Quest – ‘Clap Your Hands’

Makavelliott:I saw Menace II Society with “the” LES. Didn’t hit it.

Robbie: I saw Menace after a case of beer. Didn’t vomit.

Threat – ‘Bust One Fa Me’

Makavelliott: Been sleepin’ on this one. Thank God for that white!

Robbie: The last good rap album from LA?

Tim Dog – ‘I’ll Wax Anybody’

Robbie: This song > Most rapper’s careers.

Makavelliott: What a title. What a song. What a compilation. You’re all welcome.

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39 Comments so far
Leave a comment

great post.. surprised the Lord Shafiyq track was not mentioned.. It’s one of the first times this holy break was used. Slick Rick’s “Children story” interpolates a part of Nautilus (but this is replayed, not really a sample)..

Comment by Greg xl 10.26.08 @

My vote is for Jeru.

Comment by haroon 10.26.08 @

I bought that shitty Ice Cream Tee album for the exact same reason.

Comment by brian beck from wisconsin 10.26.08 @

no doubt I like the way Preem flipped it for Jeru the best. Anyway, great article, I didn’t realize this was sampled in so many other records!

Comment by JP 10.26.08 @

Damn, Rapidshare caps at 10 downloads!

Comment by Jay 10.26.08 @

gotta agree… nautilus and ufo are crazy… classic

Comment by er4se 10.26.08 @

you forgot murs – murray’s revenge. definitely the best chop.

but i’d go with inna city life.

Comment by chris 10.26.08 @

I can’t dl the thing – can you straighten it out?

Comment by toilet 10.26.08 @

Effin’ Rapidshare…will re-up when I get home tonight.

Comment by Robbie 10.26.08 @

GREAT POAST – my favourite break also – isn’t “let the rhythm hit em” more reliant on the “night on bald mountain” break?


Comment by Rare Dave 10.26.08 @

prt”word is bond”, pete rock & large professor “the rap world” or OK “stray bullet” anyone?

Comment by mp 10.26.08 @

I still get chills when, after two to three months of not hearing it, I throw on “Daytona 500” in the whip. To me, this was Ghostdeini’s coming out party. Sounds better today than when it first dropped.

Comment by J Smalls 10.26.08 @

fix link pls

Comment by Jay 10.27.08 @

I wasn’t trying to include every track ever to sample this joint, so stuff like Queen Mother Rage, ‘Stray Bullet’ and ‘The Rap World’ didn’t make the cut because they didn’t feature ‘Nautilus’ as prominently as their main breaks. ‘Let The Rhythm Hit ‘Em’ gets a pass because even though it’s used sparingly, it uses a lesser flipped section and still has a major impact.

Comment by Robbie 10.27.08 @

Dope shit Robbie.

I’ll Wax Anybody, and Daytona 500 give a mothafucka goosebumps (no homo).

Shit yeah.

Let The Rhythm Hit Em = Tha God

Comment by AFFECKS 10.27.08 @

@robbie: i see your point.
someone should mix all this track up and made something like edan “sounds of the funky drummer”…

Comment by mp 10.27.08 @

Rap Radar?

Comment by eric 10.27.08 @

ill break, no doubt.. Many people used it, like King Sun “big shots,” ultra magnetic, even Onyx blessed it with “throw ya’ guns in the air.” Much respect to Chuck Chillout and Red Alert for playing this break during the shows on KISS..

Comment by edubz 10.27.08 @

Some hip-hop mag had a feature on James commenting on different uses of his. He personally OKs any use of his work nowadays. I remember him saying he like ‘Daytona 500’ because he made the loop sound different than what he’d laid down.

RZA and Ghost used Bob James ‘Take Me to Mardi Gras’ in the original version of ‘Flowers’ (off Bulletproof Wallets), but James didn’t clear the sample. Instead a lazy interpolation of it was used on the album, and turned a great song terrible.

Comment by Biz 10.28.08 @

Yeah…bulletproof wallets would have been in my top 3 or 4 ghost albums if everything had cleared “the forest” joint from alc (sample anyone?) “The hilton” etc…even “never be the same again” is a pretty good joint, worked for MTV almost as well as “cher chez la ghost” hey, it was also the debut oh the craziest wrist jewelry ever, seen that thing up close and was just like WHAT?. BUT ….anyone know why James dcided to clear “Naut” on 500 and not on “flowers” bulletproof wallets could have been a near classic if “the watch” “flowers” “the sun)w slick rick…had been on and been replacements for the bullshit joints on there. Ima go flip a new joint with nautilus…never really gotten one perfect…just for fun….dope post guys—Seen?

Comment by Dj Seen? 10.28.08 @

This drop was part of UnKut’s incredible ’08. Only hipster Hip-Hop fans won’t recognize UnKut’s top rap status.

Comment by DP 10.29.08 @

Ultra Magnetic’s “Bait”. Hands-down winner for me.

Comment by Tony B1s 10.29.08 @

gee, don’t forget Jazzy’s Groove by Jeff and the Fresh Prince just b/c it was candy!

Comment by djarm18 10.30.08 @

word, and bulletproof wallets tracklisting was all fucked up…
(and FYI: that joint maxine uses a break from harlem clavinet by JJ johnson, I beat you dusty fingers!… hells bellz was used for “run” off pretty tony…and “cobra clutch” uses aint no sunshine by lyn collins you gotta pay attention to catch it though…lol…sorry, I had too)
The buisness as usual album is EPMDs illest album in life. rampage? brothers on my jock? Im mad? manslaughter? please…
Follow the leader & throw your gunz use the same part in the break but its classic shit either way…
My mindspray is fuckin psycho ward. The sun rises in the east is hands down Premos sickest production from start to finish. Wrath of the math sucked besides a few. jerus flow was off to me, still bought it though. Inna city life is classic NYC Ironhorse rap. Premo is always gonna win when it comes to chopping the classic breaks, behind Pete rock & RZA. Pete is the only cat who can sample S.U.S. or Joy for over 10yrs and still rock it…RZA sounds like he made the sample from scratch…like 360, or duel of the iron mic or liquid swordz…RZA’s drums were ahead of their time now you can buy your sounds already filtered…He truely used the ASR like a weapon more than some may even understand…

…and I though jazzys groove used the grover washington joint? I coud be wrong though, its been a min…

Comment by QUNYC 11.02.08 @

And anybody remember that daytona 500 video? pure fuckin genius…RZA should get into the hall of fame off that joint alone…

Comment by QUNYC 11.02.08 @

Thanks for this! It’s cool to have something like this compiled into one list / mix.

Comment by MASON 11.02.08 @

1. Ced Gee (Delta Force One)
2. My Mic Is On Fire
3. Bait

On the flip side “Murray’s Revenge” by Murs & 9th Wonder was the worse usage of this classic break.

Comment by DRLROCKWELL 11.03.08 @

there’s also mary j blige feat. nas & dmx – sincerity


Comment by dazed 11.03.08 @

“I get fly like Remington Steele!” I’m glad to see Tim Dog’s “I’ll Wax Anybody” on this list. I think Ced Gee’s “Delta Force” is remarkable just based on the part of “Nautilus” he used. I’m surprised more people haven’t used that bridge, though I think I actually have heard it used elsewhere.

Back to the Dog, that second verse on the aforementioned song of his is one of the roughest verses I’ve ever heard. Tim took no prisoners; just ask Monie Love, though she has recovered and is obviously doing very well, arguably better than the Bronx N-gga himself.

The Ice Cream Tee album–did it contain “Can’t Hold Back”? Not sure if Tee wrote her own lyrics on that one, but that was a fierce joint!

Comment by bitter monk 11.04.08 @

Could you please re-upload this Robbie?

Comment by Coxman 11.05.08 @

^ Still works man:


Comment by Robbie 11.05.08 @


That Dynas track is produced by Spinna, right?? I just can’t remember which album. I could be wrong.

Dee El Sends

Comment by Dee El 11.08.08 @

nice post… nautilus is def one of the nicest breaks sampled in hip hop… ufo w/ those guitar riffs also legendary

Comment by er4se 01.04.09 @

I’ll add: Poor Righteous Teachers ‘ Word is Bond’

Comment by mog 04.15.09 @

Over 4 years later…Wu-tang’s “Take it Back”. Easy Mo Bee straight chopped “Nautilus” into confetti. My faves: “Beats To the Rhyme” (first place I heard it. I know “Bait” was first but I wasn’t payin’ attention), “Daytona 500” (speeding ticket music), “Ced Gee (Delta Force One)” (when I found that part on “Nautilus”, my jaw dropped…) and “Inner Citi life” for the win (only Preme can take a break like that and give it HIS bounce.)

Comment by oskamadison 03.15.13 @

My joint should be on this list too. I learned from the greats…

Comment by Confidence 03.17.13 @

@Confidence: This was put together in 2008. Maybe I should do a part 2…

Comment by Robbie 03.17.13 @

Do it!!!!

Comment by oskamadison 03.18.13 @

Robbie, I NEED this! Can you upload it again?!

Comment by KnowledgeReigns 03.18.13 @

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