The Top 11 Micro-Chop Substack Posts

A look back at the most popular Micro-Chop articles from the past eight months.


I’ve written close to 100 articles since starting the Micro-Chop Substack newsletter in mid-July of 2019. That’s quite a few stories—more than one human being (besides me, the person who wrote them) can reasonably be expected to care about.

Herein lies the tension of being a writer or any kind of creator in the modern era. There’s a pressure to constantly make new things without pausing for more than five seconds to reflect on the countless things you’ve already made, many of which have been released into the world without much notice or care.

With that in mind, I’m giving myself permission to hit the pause button for a moment, reflect on the near-100 stories I’ve written, and re-share some of them. In doing so, I want to highlight some of the articles that have resonated most with my readers.

Below you’ll find a list of the 11 most-liked Micro-Chop Substack articles—the story behind the oft-sampled rap classic “Top Billin,’” a selection of YouTube jams, a deep dive about an album made with nothing but archived Kmart cassette tape samples, the independent legend of DJ Squeeky, and much more.

In sharing these articles, I’d love to hear from you—my most dedicated readers. What’s your favorite Micro-Chop story since I started my Substack newsletter? Did it make the cut and end up on this list? I’d also like to hear about why your favorite article/s are your favorites, if you’re willing to share.

In the end, I hope this list proves to be a useful resource and gives you an opportunity to revisit some of my work. Enjoy.

The Top 11 Micro-Chop Substack Posts

1) “You Can Take This Thing To An Extreme”: Revisiting RJD2’s 'Deadringer'

Eight-hour a day MPC sessions, pushing the limits of sampling, and other elements that inspired an enduring 17-year-old instrumental album.

2) The Making of Audio Two's "Top Billin'"

An examination of the unusual drum pattern that turned a b-side into a hip-hop classic.

3) 8 YouTube Jams For Your Friday Afternoon

Long out of print 12-inches, Memphis rap tapes, and other gems from the YouTube audio archives.

4) The Importance of Cassette Tapes as a Sample Source

How Evil Dee, Prince Paul, and Large Professor used cassette tape samples to make timeless music. 

5) Dibiase Discusses 303s, 404s, MPCs, and Tape Hiss—Part 1

The uncut, 6800-word version of an enduring Micro-Chop favorite in two parts.

6) DJ Premier and the Importance of a DJ Mentality

How a Guru ultimatum, a desire for more creative control, and live scratching loops helped Preemo evolve as a producer.

7) 8 RZA Productions Worth Revisiting

A look back at some memorable moments from the super-producer's 28-year career.

8) Black Milk Almost Deleted "The Reunion" Beat

The spontaneous creation and near destruction of an enduring classic.

9) Stitching Together Three Different Guitar Snippets and Auditioning 30 Vocal Samples

The elaborate process behind 'The Grey Album,' "The Only One," and other early Danger Mouse creations.

10) Department Stores, Elevator Music, and Obscure Cassette Tapes

The incredible story behind Juicy The Emissary's 'Attention Kmart Choppers.'

11) DJ Squeeky Sold 10,000 Copies of 'On A Mission' in One Week

Bedroom recording sessions, underground tapes, and the making of a Memphis legend.


Thanks for reading, see you on Friday!