Essential Paradox B-Boy Drum & Bass Breaks
Essential Paradox B-Boy Drum & Bass Breaks

While the art of crate-digging and train-spotting may seem to have gone the way of the dinosaurs, OG and new-school producers alike know that the roots of drum and bass, jungle, and bass music in general emerges from the DNA of hip-hop and b-boy pioneers sampling funk, soul, R&B and even rock breakbeats. While producers like Paradox have been able to craft legendary careers out of their encyclopedic knowledge of breakbeats, Dev Paradox will be the first one to tell you that his most insightful production tip is that he often looks to hip-hop an b-boy culture for inspiration in how to process, chop, and integrate classic breaks into unique and fresh grooves.

With his latest single on Metalheadz its own masterclass in breakbeat-driven production, we thought we would take things to an entirely different level and not only get Paradox to deconstruct the genealogy of his latest release (out now) but curate a playlist of his favorite b-boy tunes along the way. With that in mind, bust out the pen and the pad and prepare to get your head flipped as Paradox drops mad knowledge and walks us through his “Esential Paradox B-Boy Drum & Bass Breaks” playlist below.

Paradox “Toprock
“This is the lead track on my Metalheadz single. The title, ‘Toprock’ refers to a dance move/step that intros breaking.”

Blade “The Coming is Near
“Great British B-boy hip-hop. Blade sampled the Hot Wheels loop and the track just reeks of funk. A big inspiration into early hardcore/jungle for us in the early ’90s.”

Big Daddy Kane “Wrath of Kane
“This track by Kane had an elusive break we as Nucleus & Paradox always loved because of the sheer pace of it. In 2017, we released ‘Wrath’ on Metalheadz, which uses the original funk break—an ode to Kane.”

Hardnoise “Mice in the Presence of the Lion
“Break switching, fast rapping, and reggae basslines make this title a favorite for me. Dirty hip-hop drum & bass. Salute.”

MC Mello “Bizzie Rhymin
“Not many hip-hop tracks use the Humpty Dump break well and ‘Bizzie Rhymin’ is the best example for me. This track spawned a few hardcore lifts, even though the break was available on Ultimate Break LPs. I know many artists that sampled Mello instead.”

Uptown “Dope on Plastic
“This one for me is my youth of 1989. I’d watch the video on the TV and mimic the rapping all the time. The drum & bass feel of this one with breaks by Kool & The Gang inspired me to do an ode to ‘Uptown’ myself called ‘Rockdown’ on Paradox Music.”

MC Shan “Juice Crew Law
“A month doesn‘t pass without me listening to this one. This track influenced a few Nucleus and Seba collaborations. The swing in the breaks makes this one. The fact there is no kick on the one-beat makes the groove more impressive for 1988.”

Tuff Crew “Show Em Hell
“Many Tuff Crew titles used great breaks like Nut, What You Don’t Know and My Part of Town, so their LPs are gems in my collection. ‘Show Em Hell’ sampled ‘Amen Brother’ well and it‘s funky as hell coupled by the impressive scratching. Gold.”

Eric B & Rakim “No Competition
“Rakim is the rap king and ‘No Competition’ makes my list because of the Manzel ‘Space Funk’ loops in the track. We went on to do a track on Reinforced Records with the Manzel break inspired by the hip-hop crew.”

Big Daddy Kane “Raw
“This title is a massive jungle/drum & bass spawner. Okay, we all know it’s Bobby Byrd‘s ‘Hot Pants’ but ‘Raw’ brought it to the Akai samplers. Pure jungle. Even today she still sounds fresh and ‘Hot Pants’ is the backbone behind many D&B tracks in 2018.”

Son Of Noise “Master of Menace
“The UK’s Son Of Noise, Hijack, Demon Boyz and Hardnoise were pretty instrumental in my hardcore upbringing. ‘Master of Menace’ is a tough track with the Funky Nassau loop, reminds me of my early Moving Shadow Records days.”

Supreme & Son Of Noise “RIP
“Fast-forward 20 odd years and in 2016 Hijack‘s DJ Supreme and Son Of Noise delivered a great track reminiscent of the 90‘s breakbeat days. Check the breaks in the track—really funky. I spoke to Supreme about break culture recently as he used my Wax Breaks LPs which I do for hip-hop crews, which was a nice touch.”