by Henry Massey
Because I’m sad, I really enjoy hearing a track and realising that I’ve heard it sampled in something else. Here are some i’ve found lately – hopefully they’re ones you haven’t heard/didn’t know about before, but if they are then well done. Gold star for you.
Love, Love, Love – Pugh Rogefelt
Diehard Clap Hands fans out there will recognise this rockin’ drum intro from an album Joseph and I talked about on our last podcast… DJ Shadow nicked it for ‘Mutual Slump’ off …Endtroducing. The original is a really fun psychedelic pop record, think the Kinks mixed with a bit of Ravi Shankar. Also, look at that dude!
Every Nigger is a Star – Boris Gardner
A sample from this lusciously smooth 70s soul jam – the titular track from a 1973 Jamaican movie, which dropped the n-bomb in it’s official title, so i’m just reproducing what I saw. Honestly, you can Google it! – is the first thing you heard when you hit play on the Grammy-magnet that was Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly. One of the most powerful works of art (music or otherwise) embodying the state of African American relations made during the Obama presidency, the sample is as meaningful and powerful as it is disarming and cool.
She’s My Baby – The Mojo Men, & You Showed Me – The Turtles
Keeping it 💯 with prominent 21st century hip hop artists, Kanye West is (for all his trappings) one of the most creative, resourceful and talented music producers working to date. His obsession with the tiniest details powers everything he does, so it’s no surprise that throughout his career he’s pored over a colossal amount of music, picking up influences, or, in many instances, samples.
Kanye must have been working his way through 60’s rock and pop during the making of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The fuzz bass intro on The Mojo Men’s 1966 psychedelic-tinged folk rock number was whacked through a processor and used to lead in ‘Hell of a Life’ (OF WHICH THERE ARE NO AVAILABLE YOUTUBE LINKS).
Clearly, one good turn deserves another, and Yeezy also lifted the vocal hook the The Turtles’ 1968 harmony laden pop-truffle, sent it through his Macbook, put it through some filter that warps it through time and space like the singularity in Interstellar, and ended up with the intro to ‘Gorgeous’ (of which there are also no available Youtube links. I’m trying here guys, I really am).
One Way Glass -Manfred Mann Chapter Three
Remember when The Prodigy made Invaders Must Die and everyone was hyped that the Prodigy were back? Yeah, that was 2009. More than six years ago………
Anyways, for the album’s enormous closer ‘Stand Up‘, Liam Howlett was trying to capture that ‘last tune of the night’ feeling, and he pretty much nailed it with this triumphant proggy gem.
The Trammps – Rubber Band
Compton protegé The Game announced himself to the world on a song with his mentor 50 Cent, who is from New York. Hip Hop got a lot more geographically complicated by the end of the 90s. This song was ‘Hate It Or Love It’ and it was amazing. It’s video featured Fiddy dancing in front of an obvious green screen and The Game standing shirtless on someone’s roof, clapping. It was, all in all, very 2005.
The lyrics, had master and padawan showcasing the lyrical themes that 50 built his career on, namely the “I’m the latest huge rap star and nobody believed that I could be successful, so now I’m going to rap about how successful I am and how nobody thought I could be successful” genre. Of course, 12 year old me didn’t know that the gloriously smooth and catchy melody was totally not the musical stylings of Fiddy and The Game, but seventies Philly Soul band The Trammps, and it’s gorgeous. Also, it’s on the soul station on GTA V, which is the best station on the game. Don’t listen to anyone tell you any different.
Also Also, just look at that album art below this sentence. Look at it. If that isn’t the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen in your life, then there’s nothing more I can do for you.
Labi Siffre – I Got The…
This sample has probably been heard by more of you than any of the others in this list. In fact, it’s probably one of the better known samples out there. Having said that, I didn’t know it was a sample until recently. I’m not going to link you to what you’ll know it from, though. You’ll know it when it kicks in…