Could it be producer beef? A peculiar coincidence? Something fishy going on? Or maybe even an in-joke?
Some questions for four of the UK's biggest rappers, who released two near-identical songs within 48 hours, both featuring the same sample and executed by two producers who had previously worked together.
The first of these, "House Party", by Brummie MC MIST and London rapper Fredo, produced by Steel Banglez, dropped on the 28th of April, 2020, shooting straight to number #2 on YouTube’s trending chart.
It gets deeper: the four rappers have all worked with Steel Banglez on a number of tracks in a variety of combinations – MoStack and Fredo on "I'm The One", AJ Tracey on "Wifey Riddim 3", MoStack and MIST on "Screw & Brew", to name just a few of the collaborations over the years.
Meanwhile, TheElements and Steel Banglez both produced 2019 afro-swing rap smash "Fashion Week", which featured AJ Tracey and MoStack. The two producers also worked on 2019 MoStack track "Yes Yes". There's a lot of previous crossover. So, uh, what's going on? We'll soon dive headfirst into the confusion of four rappers releasing a similar song, almost on the same day, using the same sample, but first: that sample. Fuck, the sample. Again, it's that huge tune "Push The Feeling On" by Nightcrawlers.
Released in 1995, MK Dub's "Push The Feeling On" remix is the kind of stratospherically massive deep house tune that deserves to be showcased straight to the aliens when we explain the concept of The Sesh to them. Anyone who hears it is guaranteed to think of at least one of the following things: MDMA, sick, the shiny bald headed man we know as Pitbull (who sampled the tune on 2009 pool party banger "Hotel Room Service"), men with their taps aff, Ibiza, Malia and Reading at 10PM on a Thursday (and, of course, that video doing the rounds on TikTok). It doesn't transcend space and time so much as it is simply omnipresent wherever the sesh may be.
Now, back to "House Party" and "Dinner Guest". You can assume respective producers, Steel Banglez and TheElements, sampled this absolute galaxy-level tune in a race to secure the post Covid-19 club banger. It's a no-brainer. Shove people in a room and whack the song on, and the hedonistic stimuli will be enough to power nations. I already feel triggered thinking about it.
But what makes "Push The Feeling On" so good to sample? The eternal, primordial vibe of the repeated vocal and bass helps these new songs sound both throwback and current. The stems are familiar, but able to be reinterpreted enough to sound different. In this case, that's a deep and submersive sound on the MIST and Fredo track, a kind of aural equivalent of feeling so waved everything moves at half speed. The AJ Tracey and MoStack version has a brighter tone, sounding like something you might hear on a boat party cutting through Croatian islands in the middle of June.
Back to the point in hand. What's the deal with "House Party" and "Dinner Guest" being released on almost the same day, sounding relatively similar and both using "Push The Feeling On"? How does that happen? There are couple of potential scenarios:
– The Elements and Steel Banglez were both working on an instrumental together, much like on "Fashion Week", but then went their separate ways.
– Everyone is in on it and the two tracks are a friendly clash. They're having a laugh.
– Or it's one of the strangest musical coincidences of our time.
VICE has reached out to TheElements and Steel Banglez for comment.
One thing is certain, though: the publishing team that cleared that "Push The Feeling" sample is laughing all the way to the bank.
Sign up to our newsletter to get the best of VICE UK delivered to your inbox every week.