Top Ten Night Ripper Moments

Note: I’ve added a brand new section devoted to meaningless top ten lists. I like ’em, I hope you do too. This shall be the first entry into that brave new world.

Earlier this year Jeff Stiles was kind enough to provide me with a copy of the latest Girl Talk release, Night Ripper. Granted, I was late to that party. The album was released some time in late 2006, but since I’m a little behind the times it took it a while to actually find its way into my Ipod. Now, two months later, it has become my favorite album of the year, playing on a near constant loop in my car/office/home/brain.

If you’re not familiar with the record, let me give you a little background information. The album is a mash-up/dj mix (even though Girl Talk (aka Greg Gillis) insists that he isn’t a dj) comprised of 150 + samples, spanning genres and crossing musical boundaries while still shaking your booty. Night Ripper is divided into 16 individual tracks, but flows seamlessly into the next sample or groove… unless you’re watching the tracks skip, you’ll never notice that it’s happening. It clocks in at around 42 minutes, leaving you breathless and clamoring for more.

Since the album, by its very nature, is sprawling and epic it becomes rather difficult to isolate a “favorite track.” Conversations about Night Ripper tend to focus more on the use of a particular sample, as opposed to naming an individual cut as being better or worse than another. So, as an initiation to those that may not have heard the record (and for historical record), I’d like to share with you my top ten moments of Girl Talk’s Night Ripper. I’ve included audio samples of exactly what I’m talking about, just to make it a little easier to follow (and to save myself the trouble of describing every detail).

10. Unexpected grooves with James Taylor

Track: Hold Up – 0:00

Samples: James Taylor’s “Your Smiling Face,” Mariah Carey’s “It’s Like That,” Ludacris’ “Number 1 Spot”

Taylor’s smooth, white boy soul voice blends perfectly with the whistles and coos looped in the background.

9. Do I actually like Laffy Taffy?

Track: Hold Up – 1:45

Samples: D4L’s “Laffy Taffy,” Buckwheat Boys’ “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” & Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So”

I really, really hate that Laffy Taffy song… so it causes me great pain to admit that it sounds fantastic right here.

8. Sophie B. Fiddy

Track: Minute By Minute – 2:08

Samples: Sophie B. Hawkins’ “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover,” The Game/50 Cent’s “Hate It or Love It” and Better Than Ezra’s “Good”

Thus far, everyone who’s even remotely my age that I’ve seen listen to this album for the first time has jumped up and shouted, “That’s Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover… by that one chick, y’know, who was she?” Mystery solved.

7. 1979 works in 2006

Track: Overtime – 0:00

Samples: Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979,” Three Six Mafia’s “Stay Fly” and Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock’s “It Takes Two”

Pretty often you’ll find yourself amazed at how well these songs actually work together. I actually now wish that the Three Six Mafia would release a remix of the song featuring the Pumpkins sample.

6. Carry on, my wayward milkshake

Track: Warm It Up – 1:14

Samples: Kansas’ “Wayward Son,” Boyz II Men’s “Motownphilly,” Kelis’ “Milkshake,” Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown”

I’d never admit it publicly, but since we’re friends I’ll tell you… I have a soft spot for both Kansas and Smokey Robinson. Please don’t tell anyone.

5. Magical Gold Diggers

Track: Summer Stroke – 1:22

Samples: Pilot’s “Magic,” Kanye West’s “Gold Digger,” Salt N’ Pepa’s “Let’s Talk About Sex,” Bell Biv Devoe’s “Do Me,” Ludacris’ “Area Codes”

This clip runs a little long, spiraling off into several different directions. The relative popularity of each of the samples makes it extremely fun, since most folks can accurately pick out what’s going on at a given moment.

4. PM Dawn… and some filth

Track: Ask About Me – 0:08

Samples: PM Dawn’s “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss,” DJ Shadow’s “The Number Song,” David Banner’s “Play” and Nine Inch Nails’ “Only”

Sure, I could have suggested that it was a Spandau Ballet song, but I roll with the PM Dawn Flava! This track is pretty explicit, so be warned… put the kiddies to bed before checking it out.

3. It’s a shame how Trina & SWV fell out…

Track: Smash Your Head – 0:00

Samples: Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar We’re Going Down,” X-Ray Spex’s “Oh Bondage, Up Yours,” Trina’s “Don’t Trip,” and SWV’s “I’m So Into You”

The guitar crunch from Fall Out Boy’s biggest single builds into a frenzy, which almost always causes me to swerve in traffic. My apologies to the travelers of Nicholasville Road.

2. Elastic Man

Track: Bounce That – 2:08

Samples: Elastica’s “Connection” and Ciara’s “Oh” (featuring Ludacris)

The most simple and straight forward mash-up on the entire record. When the full breadth of “Connection” is unleashed on Ludacris it becomes impossible not to jump up and down.

1. Tiny Biggie

Track: Smash Your Head – 1:25

Samples: The Pharcyde’s “Passing Me By,” Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” and The Notorious BIG’s “Juicy”

The indisputable high point of the entire album. After my first listen, this was the stand-out track that brought me back again and again. Any conversation regarding this album inspires debate over which cuts stand strongest up against such heavy competition, but everyone turns to a chorus of “ooh” and “ahh” when that piano kicks in, leading us to Biggie’s butter-smooth flow.

Of course, the list of samples included in each of these cuts isn’t complete. Using my own durned head (and Wikipedia) I was able to compile a list of what was going on in each song, at least enough of one to clear up some of the “what is that?” questions. The entire record is like an extremely complicated, booty shakin’ trivia game. It’s impossible to put it on at a party without hearing at least two or three people shouting out, “hey, thats ________!”

But that’s exactly what Night Ripper is intended to be. A nearly interactive party going experience contained on one disc. As Kevin put it, “If I ever have a party, and I don’t care if it’s a book club party, that’s going to be the soundtrack.” Fortunately for us, Greg Gillis has given us just that, the perfect soundtrack to anything. Never again shall we feel the sting of embarrassment that comes along with sticking that Bob Seger disc into the rotation.

Thanks, Girl Talk… you have no idea how much.


3 Responses to “Top Ten Night Ripper Moments”

  1. Jefffffffff Says:

    Good post! I can’t think of anything to say?!

  2. Kevin Says:

    1. Best headline: Carry on, my wayward milkshake.
    2. You made Jeff speechless. That alone is worth the prices of admission.
    3. Since there is no price of admission here, I guess I need a new phrase.
    4. Why doesn’t Jeff ever leave messages on MY blog?
    5. Why doesn’t Jeff ever write back to me?
    6. Why am I writig so much about Jeff?
    7. Listen to Cory and check out Girl Talk. Seriously, you have no idea how many times I’ve heard him launch into the standard hyperbole of “Ya know, this really might be the single greatest thing I’ve ever heard” only to find out he’s listening to pure and total crap. HOWEVER, the dude might be dead on with this one. It’s an amazing collection.

  3. awa Says:

    the best part is the verve and the whisper song

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