A scorching funk instrumental penned and performed by longtime Detroit session guitarist Dennis Coffey, "Scorpio" is one of the classic breakbeat tunes that laid the foundation for hip-hop's sound, first as a popular record among DJs in the 1970s and then as a much-sampled rhythm track. Like James Brown's "Funky Drummer
" or The Incredible Bongo Band's "Apache
," Coffey's four-minute jam has become integral to any history of hip-hop's development. It was one of the first songs featured in Paul Winley's early breakbeat anthology record series, Super Disco Brake's
[sic], and "Scorpio" subsequently appeared as a sample in a wide range of tracks, including "Bust A Move
" by Young MC, "Night of the Living Baseheads" by Public Enemy, and "The Score" by Fugees. And while the song's classic drum break is seemingly omnipresent, that's not to denigrate the rest of the funky single's sound. Indeed, as Nate Watts (bass player for Stevie Wonder) recalls in the 2002 documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown
, if a bass player coming up in Detroit in the early '70s couldn't play the extended bass solo that former Motown session player Bob Babbitt laid down on "Scorpio," then he "wasn't a bass player."