Song of the Day: Beck “This Is My Crew”
“This Is My Crew” is a b-side to the CD single release of Beck‘s 1999 indie hit, “Sexx Laws”. The track was culled from the recording session for Midnite Vultures: an album that fully saw Beck embrace funk and R&B, though remained shot through with his regular oddball tendencies. The album proved to be a surprise hit, despite its astronomical recording costs, with Beck bringing in legions of session musicians and layering track upon track.
As a b-side, “This Is My Crew” reveals a whole other side to the recording sessions and it is a shame that it was not included on the Midnite Vultures album. The song is a fun electro-boogie influenced diss track, with a heavily vocodered Beck ripping on a rival crew with hilarious results. Beck really digs into the stranger aspects of boogie, shooting the whole thing through with dark vintage synth washes and hitting that perfect balance between camp and dead seriousness that proved to be his hallmark. It is one of the strongest and strangest tracks that Beck ever recorded. Given the “sex” concept of Midnite Vultures, it was probably omitted because it did not fit the theme of the album. That bassline, though!
Beck Hansen was born in 1970 in Los Angeles. He started out as an underground lo-fi indie/ psychedelic/ sound collage act who had a predilection for dropping elements of hip-hop and R&B into unexpected places. After spending the late ’80s and early ’90s on the underground scene, he scored a surprise radio hit with the slide guitar and hip-hop beat powered “Loser”. The track was a key area where the underground music scene began to invade the pop charts of the early ’90s and helped propel Beck to a major label deal. This proved to beneficial as higher recording budgets allowed Beck to more fully realize and explore his often highly expansive bent pop music visions.