Just Blaze Flipped This Supertramp Song & Made It Breathe For Fabolous (Audio)
Whether or not 1970s Rock & Roll is part of your playlist, chances are you’ve heard Supertramp. The London, England group was active from the late 1960s to the late ’80s, and last year began some reunion touring and recording. “The Logical Song” and “The Long Way Home” are two of Rick Davies and company’s Top 10 hits, heard all over Classic and Variety radio.
However, to fans of Progressive Rock, the jewels of Supertramp often lie beneath the surface. During the Prog Rock wave boom, the band released their 1974 third LP, Crime Of The Century. The band’s first Top 5 album appearance on the charts would ultimately propel the A&M Records release to gold-certified status. “Dreamer” and “Bloody Well Right” would be the vehicles to help the band reach their United States zenith.
On that very same album, its five-and-a-half-minute title track would notably (and unusually) be the last. In the early 2000s, Just Blaze was making major impact in Hip-Hop, producing hits for Beanie Sigel, Jay Z, Cam’ron, and other Roc-A-Fella Records artists. Always working with outside artists, the Patterson, New Jersey native producer/DJ wanted to make a statement with one of his closest collaborators.
With Supertramp in hand, Just Blaze would craft a hit for Fabolous. Just and Fab’ had worked together on the Brooklyn, New Yorker’s previous two albums. Late 2004’s Real Talk was different. The Desert Storm MC went from being a flagship Rap act at Elektra, to a crowded house at Atlantic Records. Fabolous was jockeying for position with the “Joint Chiefs”: Fat Joe, Juvenile, T.I., Twista, and Trick Daddy. With two Top 5 LPs under his belt, Real Talk had to break new ground.
“Breathe” was what re-presented Fabolous as a set-up Fall single. Just Blaze used vocal effects and altered the pitch, to take a dreamy sequence in “Crime Of The Century.” More than two minutes into the ballad, Blaze found a stripped-down piano riff, and went to work. This would be the same entrance music for ‘Loso’s third Top 10 hit of his career, and his first during the Atlantic run.
Regardless of where it landed on the charts, “Breathe” was a certified street banger for F-A-B. He had 50 Cent and Ma$e on the remixes, and Just Blaze created a sound completely removed from his Roc hits. The remix pulled Fab’ away from Ma$e comparisons, and into an upper echelon of not only his label, but Hip-Hop. Especially in New York City, during a time when Joe, 50, Ja Rule, and Jadakiss were all entrenched in lyrical warfare, Fabolous made an anthem for the mid-2000s and chased pole position.
This year marks 10 years since Just Blaze has produced on a Fabolous album.
#BonusBeat: The G-Unit remix of “Breathe”: