(One of my favorite songs ever off one of my favorite albums ever.)
Camron's Purple Haze album dropped in late December 2004 after originally supposed to have been released a year prior. The Roc-A-Fella records partnership saw The Diplomats founder and artist paired with super-producer Kanye West as well as The Heatmakerz and Skitzo.
"Down and Out" was the fifth single off the album and was originally credited as a Kanye West production.
Kanye has gone on record saying that it's his favorite beat he's ever produced but that it's not his work alone.
Kanye admitted to not creating the “Down and Out” beat on an obscure 2006 mixtape, "Welcome to Kanye’s Soul Mix Show", which his former tour DJ A-Trak put out.
“This is actually one of my favorite beats that I didn’t really do,” Kanye said over the William Bell sample used on the song. “Brian ‘All Day’ Miller did this beat. And he was supposed to get co-producing credit on it and they ain’t give him credit on the album. It just had my name and everybody would come up to me at the party and say, ‘I love this beat,’ and I would say, ‘Hey, thanks.’ I'ma stop right now misusing my producers.”
Camron references the beat in the song's intro:
"Kanye, this that 1970s Heron flow, huh?"
By "Heron" he's referring to the American jazz poet and soul musician, Gil Scott-Heron, who was famous for his work as a spoken word performer during the 70s and 80s. He was also often referred to as “the Godfather of rap” and is acclaimed as one of the genre’s founders.
The song sampled in "Down and Out" is the famous William Bell & Mavis Staples record " Strung Out".
The soul, funk, and disco elements are unmistakable when you listen.
Kanye & Miller increased the tempo and added drums.
Fire song off a fire album.