Droop-E is a Piece of My Heart (Diamond Love)

Beyond the nostalgia/kitsch acquired in a mixtape full of '80s plastic-pop, there's no better way to connect with that nostalgia than through the blatant sampling of hip-hop. Think about the nostalgic burst in Bone Thugz using Phil Collins "Take Me Home" -- Phil's not exactly welcome at any moment, but in the context of a thuggish ruggish introspection, it's perfect, goosebump inducing. Perhaps why I enjoy Droop-E's Black Diamond Life so much, it that there's nothing as obvious as what Droop-E has crafted in this slender eight song mini-album -- made of exclusively Sade samples. When sampling a resource as liberally as Droop-E, it's close to a concept. Songs like "Cherish the Bay" and "Hungry" imagine a Bay Area street-life, taking a night off on the yacht, cruising champagne and blunts, sultry sax and relaxed bongos -- "Smooth Operator" wafting in the background.

While I can't say I've heard much of Droop-E besides Black Diamond Life (which you can download for free here), he's been around the block. As the son of E-40, hence the guest spot, he's appeared on various mixtapes and many of his father's cuts. It's very calculated and very wordquick, extremely similar to Curre$y (talked about previously) -- laconic and mellow. A welcomed foil to samples so blatant and so obvious. Hip-hop producers should do this more often, but for now, Sade is off the table. May I suggest -- The System?

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