Neo-Philly soul benefactor, turntablist exponent of the transform, and contributor to The Simpsons Sing the Blues, DJ Jazzy Jeff is many things to many people.
To me he’s a rare enduring talent, an elder statesman of hip hop that is still very much hard at work while others turn up to testimonials for handouts. Jeff was a spritely 42 when he turned out his long-playing sequel to The Magnificent, a guest-heavy collection of admittedly obvious soul fodder given bubbling Nu-Soul flips that features today’s cut up before the Crate.
A standout on The Return of the Magnificent (if for nothing more than being the only straight-up hip hop track in a room of signature steamy soul bumps), ‘Hold It Down’ is the least manipulated lift and easily the most peppy. It’s a simple recipe comprising the saccharine soul strings of Love Unlimited Orchestra (from their first and biggest hit ‘Love’s Theme’) with an assured rap from WuTang’s journeyman Meth.
The beat is pretty unassuming, but the scratch-work in the intro is just lovely, and the whole picture is a masterclass in understated chops.