[Music Playlist] Clubland Friday Night #5: Hardrive – Deep Inside (The Deep Dub)

“Deep Inside” is a House music classic and has an iconic vocal sample from a Barbara Tucker track “Beautiful People” which came out around the same time. The whole track is based around a simple two chord pattern and has subtle percussion in the beat. It has been remixed countless times over the past two decades. In 2016, Kanye West used the vocal sample on his song, “Fade”.

, a ‘90s production alias from house legend Little Louie Vega, gets most of the historical credit for this 1993 track that has been sampled many times, including for the late DJ Rashad’s anthemic footwork track “Deep Inside 06” and on Kanye West’s 2016 house tribute single “Fade.” But “Deep Inside” itself is substantially based off of samples from Barbara Tucker’s “Beautiful People,” which Vega produced with his Masters at Work partner Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez and is essentially a dub version of Tucker’s track in spirit. Think of these related songs as two ultimate companion pieces.

Though “Beautiful People” actually came out some months after “Deep Inside,” both were released on the seminal New York City house label Strictly Rhythm, the powerhouse company that was instrumental in nurturing and spotlighting the early careers of artists like Masters at Work, Armand Van Helden, Erick Morillo, Ultra Naté, and Josh Wink. Astute house DJs around the world have long packed these two songs in their record crates (and now digital folders) and explored the synergy of cutting and blending them together.

The hook of “Deep Inside” is catchy and evocative and what has been remembered over time, yet the lyrics of “Beautiful People” deserve to be heard and read in their full context. Here’s a small sample: “Is it really hard to love another?/When space and race and color’s not the same/It’s time that we start to open our eyes/And take off the cover/To bigotry, evil mockery and even jealousy/’Cause love is so much sweeter.”

“Beautiful People” also features what the original 12-inch vinyl release calls “all-star background vocals” from prominent era house and international singers like Byron Stingily, India, and Michael Watford. That vinyl release features an upbeat song on the B-Side called “No Cure,” which was coproduced with Gonzalez.

“Deep Inside” has been a fertile source for remixes, starting from the original remixes back in 1993 to subsequent rereleases in 2009, 2012 and 2015. The greatest one to find that simply soars miles above all others, though, is the brilliant Masters at Work remix from 1995, which beefs up the original with bottomless drums and drive and a whole new feel. That’s not opinion; it’s just fact.

Vega maintained the Hardrive moniker for select releases in the ‘90s, including singles that sampled classic divas like Diana Ross and Loleatta Holloway, but “Deep Inside” is the song that has endured in the canon of classics.

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