Back when Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz dropped “Deja Vu,” I didn’t even know it was a sample.
That was, however, when I was a mere thirteen.
All I knew was that Wyclef signed off on these two, they rocked customized Yankee jerseys in Shea, and that the beat on the track sounded completely original when compared to most hip-hop around the time. To me, the latter was enough for me to cop the CD single.
Ten years later, as I’ve come to appreciate Steely Dan and their simplistically complex music, my regard for them leaves me less impressed by Tariq and Gunz’ adaptation. I can understand now why the “Black Cow” creators were, and should’ve been, upset at the huge success of “Deja Vu.” Some will say their lawsuit against the two Bronx Bombers was a bit drastic, but they didn’t try to flip the scripts on the beat at all, they just bit it completely.
As you can tell from the video above, Donald Fagan and Walt Becker don’t hold any ill feelings…probably because they were awarded 100% royalties.