Sample Snitch: The connection between Jimmy Cagney and E-40 (Back in Business 2010/White Heat 1949)
The movie White Heat from 1949 is a defining moment in film noir. The main character, Arthur “Cody” Jarrett is not only a robber but suffers from headaches he started faking as a kid to get his mothers attention. It’s Cagney at his least cool: as a short, nervy, seething, deeply mentally ill character who seems to feed off the uneasiness of the characters around him. It’s definitely most famous for its finale where Cody explodes atop a gigantic gas storage tank yelling “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!” but historically this reckless feeling movie kicked down the barriers of how weird a crime movie could be. How a main character could be uncool and unhinged while remaining dynamic and strong.
E-40’s son Droop-E made full use of the demented glee (and the dramatic music that precedes it) in Cagney’s voice for a tightly looped sample that is the basis for Back in Business the super sensational silly banger off of 40’s 2010 album Revenue Retrievin’: Day Shift.
If Jay is Bogart, E-40 makes sense as rap musics exploding ball of energy Cagney. Every frame of White Heat that Cody stands in buzzes with communicative energy; pouring every single iota of himself into the way his lips curl upward. Back in Business has that energy partially because Droop-E provides an ear drum test of a baseline but a lot of it has to do with the elasticity of his fathers amazing flow. He starts the track calm and ends it creating multiple voices, asking himself questions and its way over the top. Silly as all get out but boy is it fun. I recommend you play this loud in your vehicle on the drive home after working Friday’s shift.
listen to Back In Business here:
check out Cagney losing his mind:
by the way watching Cody go off his nut is Edmond O’Brien who starred in his own film noir classic D.O.A. you have to see that if you ever liked film noir.