What an interesting week it’s been. An especially bad one for closed minded bigots, too. With the legalization of gay marriage nationwide, the renewal of Obamacare and the fucking BET awards kicking ass, it was an especially good week on the other end for us left-wingers. Completely unrelated, some awesome fucking music came out this week also and since I’m lazy, I waited until the weekend to dig up my favorite, new tracks. So without further adieu…
Rejjie Snow – All Around The World
Rejjie Snow is an interesting case. He’s, for one, the only rapper I’m knowledgeable of from Dublin, Ireland and has an accent that makes his lyrics and flow stand out unlike anyone else. In “All Around The World”, Snow shows a much more spacey style after being quiet for quite some time now. Fun, Pharrell like melodies blend swimmingly on this track so much I can’t seem to stop playing it.
Hidden Charms – Dreaming Of Another Girl
London four piece Hidden Charms are just barely out of their teens, but have a matured sound that is familiar as it is refreshing. With the help of producer Shel Tamly, who’s resume includes “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks and “My Generation” by The Who, “Dreaming Of Another Girl” is a great late night summer rock anthem. Can’t wait to hear their debut EP, which is currently in the works. Cheers, boys.
Azekel – Sold My Love
Azekel won me over within the first 15 seconds of this track. “Sold My Love” is an emotional and gripping song that progresses into a brilliant sound scape. He’s got an EP dropping July 12th via Thunderlightning Recordings if you wish to know more. Oh, and he just played Glastonbury, so you could say he’s balling right now.
The Internet – Girl (Feat. Kaytranada)
I wouldn’t stop playing The Internet’s “Girl”, featuring Kaytranada, even if I could. I’ve been a HUGE Odd Future fan since the group began rising to fame but I’ve never really given The Internet the time of day…until now. Their new album, Ego Death, is an absolute delight featuring appearances from Tyler, The Creator, Janelle Monae and Vic Mensa that really picks up where N.E.R.D. left off after Seeing Sounds. Pretty bold statement right there, but with Chad Hugo stepping in to add his touch on some tracks, I’d say it’s an accurate one. My point is this…
BUY FUCKING EGO DEATH, PEOPLE. IT’S THAT FUEGO.
Aye, we may have not gotten the best weather for Memorial Day this year, but at least you don’t have to go to school or work. That isn’t to say this day is only about blowing off obligations. We must remember those who risk and have lost their lives helping our citizens. So shouts out your grandpa’s, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers and sisters. Here’s some new music for your patriotic ears.
All around cool dude and fellow Columbia College graduate Thelonious Martin remixed “Fuck Up Some Commas” to show you he’s more than what you might think he is. His request? Play this shit at your barbeque.
Are you a Nao believer yet? If not, why the fuck not?!
New music from someone whom I consider to be one of the most groundbreaking producers working right now, Arca. He gets extra weird with “Washed Clean” so you might want to fetch the studio quality headphones for this one.
Leak season is in full bloom and this reporter is literally swimming in leaked Rich Gang. Two weeks ago, 104 Rich Gang songs leaked onto the web and just the other day, a few more Thug songs found their way to the surface. Sorry for ya Thugger, but these new jawns are fuego.
Our lovely owner and founder who makes this blog and all of our events happen, Zack Eastman, put me on to the magnificent Leon Bridges. The only four songs he has for sale on iTunes have been literally all I’ve listening to, all weekend. Seriously can’t wait for his debut album Coming Home, which drops June 23rd.
So, since the first week of January 2015, I’ve decided to make weekly playlist to help myself organize my music on SoundCloud a little better (also, because a lot of my friends keep asking me to make them playlists).
Let me break this down a little deeper what these playlists involve – I’m a music lover of all kind. So, I’m making playlists of all the music I discover/listen to for everyone to find new music. From big name to no name. There’s different #vibez for everyone to enjoy. You might just have to skip around to see what you might find and like…
Here is my 20th playlist! If you vibe with it, follow me on soundcloud: SAHAR’S SOUNDCLOUD
Ayyyy swag me out! I graduated college on Saturday and will be playing professional finessing for the money team for the rest of my life. Even with all of the festivities, I managed to find some RAW music this weekend, so without further adieu…
I absolutely love Nao. Her voice is so unique and crisp, and I would absolutely say she’s my favorite female English singer right now. Check out her So Good EP if this intrigues you.
I think I can finally consider myself a Remy Banks fan. I guess I always have been, but this song definitely seals the deal. Sup D.R.A.M.!
Supa is going soooooo fucking stupid right now. No one can stop this man!!!
Earlier this week, 104 mostly unfinished Rich Gangs leaked on the internet including this aboslute GEM dedicated to how great drinking lean is. If you love Young Thug, this song will be playing through your speakers all summer long.
Hello everyone. I’m back with Weekend Finds, after a weekend away from my weekly post about music I’ve found over the last weekend. This post series is out of sure laziness, may I remind you.
Gallant is a young RnB singer out of London with so much talent, it makes my spine tingle. No, seriously. The part in “Talking In Your Sleep” when he’s hitting Mariah Carey type high’s. Shivers.
Jesse James Solomon is the smoothest rapper: fact.
Aye…so Tinashé and Ryan Hemsworth put out a new song together for her AMETHYST EP AND NO ONE TOLD ME. Luckily, I spend all my time on the internet and found it anyways. THANKS FOR NOTHING FRIENDS.
I haven’t heard much of Eat, Pray, Thug, Das Racist’s Heems’ new solo project, but I’m about to buy the damn shits after listening to this track with Blood Orange. Super different from the old material in a super awesome way. Be on the look out for Heems to be in Chicago soon, too.
Shouts out DJ Fourth Drop for re-showing me this brazy grime track. Love when you hear something once months ago then rehear it and love it.
The act of creating a classic album is an inexact science to say the least, some people spend almost a decade trying to make a classic (think Dre’s “Chronic 2001” or D’angelo’s “Black Messiah” ), while other’s seemingly come out of no where with an album so dope and an artist so relatively unheard of the whole internet has to scramble and say “who the fuck is this??” (think Clam’s Casino’s genius “Instrumentals” or Death Grips “Exmilitary” (although obviously there was some groundwork laid down before those projects dropped)). Arguing about what albums will end up as classics is just as perplexing, some people think any album ever by their favorite artists is a classic just because Kanye or some other “legend” made it, for this articles purpose lasting impact will not be measured and albums will be judged solely on their sonic merits. The criteria really is how much fun I have while listening to the album, how great the backing music is , how beautiful or engaging the vocals are, and how it comes together as a whole to create a full picture. I will only go back to 2010 because this list could already be wayyyy longer. So lets get started!
15. Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
I live in Chicago, if I didn’t put Acid Rap on this list I might as well have packed my bags and run myself out of town before the angry mob did it first. Still, I really didn’t need much coaxing to include it, here are some of the great things Acid Rap has done for me:
1. Gave me a platform to relate to just about every other music listener in Chicago, 2. Introduced me to Noname Gypsy, 3. Rekindled my love for Twista, and 4. Provided the backdrop to an entire unforgettable summer. The concept is that the album is a trip, listen to Pusha Man and you will see that the concept was carried out without a hitch.
Listen: “Acid Rap”
14. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata
This is Freddie Gibbs breakout work, before this album he was an overqualified titan of the underground with a flow so razor-sharp I’d often get Stillmatic flashbacks; Freddie Gibbs is the midwest’s Nas, there I said it. Before this album I was totally crazy to say that, now I’m only partially crazy. Nas’s career is not known for some defining punchlines or song, it’s known for his consistent flow in which he painted vivid pictures of what drug dealing life was like; all the suffering you see and eventually becoming numb to it, yet at the same time I always felt Nas’ and Gibbs’ larger points were that you never truly become numb to death and anguish, which is why consistently through their music they always continue to observe these things and put them in their songs. They are as much actors living their roles to make a point as they are saluting fanatics dedicated to their hoods and lifestyles. Nas always knew he wanted to escape the hood and so did Gibbs, they could never stop representing their homes but they were always destined to ascend that life. Madlib deserves a lot of credit too, the beats on here were soooo much better than Gibbs usual assortments on his previous projects (another thing Gibbs and Nas have in common; spotty beat selection) and it definitely took the album in a more consistent direction which was nice in terms of end to end cohesion.
13. Drake – Nothing Was The Same
Note: before this album I hated on Drake A LOT. Now, I don’t take back all of that prior hate, before this album Drake was still juggling the whole “am I some masculine gangster or am I this soft body womanizer” schtick and he just didn’t have a handle on it yet, “So Far Gone” and “Take Care” were steps in the right direction in terms of developing a clear image of who he was as an artist but “Nothing Was The Same” is the moment where we see stop seeing Drake as a celebrity and start seeing him as an extension of us, that’s when you know your brand has ascended business altogether, fans don’t want to buy your work, they want to BE your work or feel like they already are. The difference between “Forever” back in the day and “Poundcake” now is that Drake was trying to stand on a pedestal before, on this album he kicked the pedestal off and started hanging from the ceiling, he was a vulnerable man just as human as the rest of us. “From Time” is a beautifully honest song.
12. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
“Thinking About You” is the most perfect R n B song of all time, it’s the most perfect single to one of the best R n B albums ever, without hearing that song first I doubt would have given Channel Orange as much of a chance as I did but man was it worth it. Andre 3000, Earl, and Tyler The Creator make appearances while Frank sings his heart out, I never thought Frank was the greatest singer but his lyricism and song structure just could not be matched. This albums lasting impact is going to be a lot of children being conceived to it, an entire generation probably.
Listen: “Channel Orange”
11. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2
The second album from super duo Killer Mike and EL-P is like spending the whole night railing lines of coke while tearing down establishment and chopping off the heads of corrupt cops and politicians; maybe we can’t do all of those things in real life but thank god theres an album that captures all the anger of our times and puts it into one place to cook and stew and rage. It’s a therapeutic exercise really, turn your speakers all the way and blast it, you will feel better for it after.
10. Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside
Earl’s album really struck me because it seemed to be entirely reflective of my generation, here we are as a people evolved beyond anything that could’ve been imagined in the dark ages of man yet as a people we can barely make eye contact in casual conversation. This album is about how our desktop has become the hub of our lives and our addictions (and I don’t just mean illegal narcotics) have become forcefields shielding us from social interaction. Interestingly it has been found that the opposite of drug addiction is not cold turkey sobriety, it’s meaningful social relations with people that keep us clean, so for us to always be spending our time on social media thinking we’re interacting when really we’re just being glorified hype machines we are opening the door to addiction. You may think this is a little too deep of a read into the album but I saw Earl live performing this thing and the aspect of the performance that struck me most was how Earl interacted with the crowd, he was talking like some comment section troll just kind of loosely making fun of random people for no apparent reason with a clear lack of a connection between himself and the audience. Technology has made us more disjointed as a people and communication has never been harder.
Listen: “I Don’t Like Shit”
9. The xx – Coexist
The xx’s sophomore album is brilliant, chill and thoughtful. I’ve always loved the soft male vocals and soft female vocals combining to create a sonic chemistry so pure it makes me think of Simon and Garfunkel. The reverb entrenched guitars, rolling back beats, “ooohs” and “ahhs” dance around to make the best kind of headphones music. Don’t sleep on the impact these two have had on the music industry either, Drake and The Weeknd owe a lot to the xx’s spacey aesthetic whose influence would later culminate over onto projects like “Take Care”. Regardless, when I want to sit back and reflect I put on “Coexist” and float away into the stratosphere.
8. Asap Rocky – Live. Love. Asap.
Hits like “Purple Swag” and “Peso” put Asap Rocky and his entire team on the national radar, it put Clams Casino on the national radar, hell it even kinda put Spaceghostpurrp on the map for better or worse. I never thought Rocky did some great job rapping technically on this album, but that is exactly why it succeeds, the beats on this thing are too spacey and atmospheric for a Kendrick Lamar spitting multisyllabic rhyme schemes (although that would’ve been really fucking cool), but ASAP chilling smoking a blunt while sipping some lean? PERFECT.
Listen “Live. Love. Asap.”
7. Big K.R.I.T. – Return Of 4eva
This is technically just a mixtape but it has the cohesiveness and effectiveness of an album and then some; KRIT produced and wrote the whole thing keeping the emphasis on his humble southern upbringings, a perfect execution of an underdog story. Soul samples, hard trunk rattling beats, and the perfect balance of introspection and energy.
Listen: “Return of 4eva”
6. Danny Brown – XXX
Drug addiction and being thirty years old and still basically a struggle rapper is a good way to reach rock bottom. This is one of the most original albums of any genre I have ever heard but be warned it’s dark, misogynistic, and has a dry, twisted sense of humor.
5. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Fresh off the experimental binge and insecurity that was “808s & Heartbreak” Kanye asserts himself as raps alpha male, grabbing just about anyone who was relevant in the mainstream at the time to jump on this album, Kanye wanted to work with his musical peers and be challenged to take his craft to a whole new level. “Blame Game” comes to mind when I think of my favorite overall tracks of the past 5 years as well.
4. Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
The production on this album is nuts; the mixing and masterings absolutely fire and if you have a pair of good speakers you will be extremely pleased and appreciative. Drake is at peak lyrical level while maintaining the honesty that we rewarded him for on his previous two albums. This album is effectively the same thing as when a player you always expected would be great in some sport just gets all their shit together and wins the championship, like Lebron in Miami.
3. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid M.A.A.D. City
This album is no doubt going to end up as a classic, it may well already be one. I don’t have to reiterate what’s already been said but I will say this: Kendrick Lamar will never make another album like this nor should you expect him to, just be thankful this exists and don’t ever try to judge the rest of his work in comparison because it just won’t be the same, if you love him let him grow.
2. Kanye West – Yeezus
This album is extremely fun and it turns right just as you expect it to turn left, you can’t help but get caught up in the pure energy that Kanye can still muster up 6 albums in, it’s like Michael after the first few championships, at some point you just realize this guy just always has a chip on his shoulder and is so driven you can’t help but be somewhat turned off and on at the same time. It’s a balance of different types of power and vulnerability that make the greats act the way they do, maybe they shouldn’t be forgiven for being dicks, but lets not let that interfere with the amazing music.
1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
When this dropped I set aside a couple hours to give it a fair listen and then realized that would not be possible, I needed to listen to this thing more, then more, everywhere I went this was the accompanying music, I couldn’t get enough of it. That is the definition of a classic album, I felt the same way about Illmatic the first time I heard it and really still am decoding it’s inner messages.
I managed to have quite a busy weekend while accomplishing literally nothing to help me pass all my classes to graduate in 3 weeks, but I managed to find some raw new shit…so I’ll mark this weekend as a W.
Freddie Gibb – Pronto (Music Video)
This song isn’t new but I just recently learned of this music video which IS FUCKING B-A-D-A-S-S. The world will never be ready for Freddie Gibbs. He’s simply too real.
D.R.A.M. – Excessive (DJ OHSO #1EPICSLOWDOWN)
My buddy and crazy man D.R.A.M. got his new track “Excessive” chopped up by female DJ, DJ OHSO. Apparently they’ve got a whole project of chopped and screwed music coming soon? Can’t wait for that!
Her – Quite Like
I think I saw Hypetrak retweet this song on Thursday or Friday, but either way, this jam is smooth and melodic. Don’t know shit about the band but they’ve certainly got my attention now!
Teddy Jackson – Too Play
Teddy Jackson is one of the nicer, more humble male vocalists you’ll ever encounter. IF HE EVER DROPS A PROJECT…(where’s it at bro?), you better believe I’m going to be alllllll over that! For now, check out this dope beat Teddy cooked up for this little collaborative instrumental project, Brain Food.
Cashmere Cat premiered this song at his Lincoln Hall show with DJ Spinn and Different Sleep a couple months back and when he did, I texted my 15 year old, Ariana Grande loving cousin to tell her. She thinks I’m basically the coolest now. I really like what MssingNo did to this track, as MssingNo seems to be able to do no wrong.
As a music lover and part time journalist, it’s my responsibility to get on the world wide web to find new and interesting music to share with y’all. The weekend is usually when I get to catch up on my Soundcloud and Youtube digging, so come Monday, I’ve found at least a few new, raw tracks.
This new segment is really out of laziness. I figure, why don’t I compile all my weekend findings into one weekly post about such? It’s a hassle and a half having to write articles for each individual track (I got other shit to do, too). So, without further ado, here’s my “Weekend Finds”.
Eyedress – Old Fashion Ways
Eyedress is a Filipino singer/producer with a sound that screams Spring/Summer American Apparel. No, really, I got turned onto Idris (which is where he gets his name) earlier this year and have absolutely fallen in love. If you’re new to Eyedress, check out his other tracks “Nature Trips” and “Everything We Touch Turns Into Gold”.
Hudson Mohawke – Ryderz
Straight up, I was sort of nervous to hear what the next batch of HudMo music would sound like after I saw him at SXSW, but this is a pleasant surprise in the best of ways. Who knows if this is what Mohawk’s upcoming project, Lantern, will sound like but I would definitely like to hear Cam’ron over something like this.
Ratatat – Cream On Chrome
I don’t know what the hell had me occupied to where I didn’t even realize Ratatat had new music out, but shit, better late than never. “Cream On Chrome” is surely fit to please any Ratatat fan. Can’t wait for a full project.
Rose Window – Strip Mall Babylon
Rose Window is a fucking killer band from the Pacific Northwest signed to Sub Pop Records. That’s pretty much all I know about them, but they’ve really caught my interest after hearing several of their songs. Rose Window: if you’re reading this, let’s chat!!!
Young Thug – Halftime
So, I’ve actually heard this song before but it’s definitely my favorite song off Barter 6, which dropped this last Thursday (when I rediscovered it). I definitely wished for more from Thug, seeing he is a rapper with many different styles, but I can’t say I don’t like it. Also, Thugger said “cocaine white like Justin Bieber, bitch”. Amazing.
Music can send you down a trip on memory lane, it’ll make you remember a loved one or a fun time in your life or maybe even that one night with that special someone… you know what i’m talking about. We at 1833 are no different and want to celebrate the past with our weekly segment THROWBACK THURSDAY’S; check below to see what era our contributors are stuck in this week and come back every thursday to find out what songs you forgot you missed.
Postal Service before they formalized the band. This song still makes me warm/sad.
“Block “’em, block ’em out. They steady screaming in my ear, how could I block ’em out?”
I chose “Isolation” for my first TBT for a few reasons. I love the track and it’s a song that made me want to blog. My son Noah Sims produced it and at his first professional session at Classick Studios, two artists that recorded on his beats were Roosevelt The Titan and Carl. “Isolation” was made at a later session and showed a lot of progress. It was fun to promote and I loved when Roosevelt performed it live. This is Carl before Hurt Everybody, and Rose & Noah still very new to the game. It’s great to see these three artists continue to rise. Shout out Roosevelt for reposting the track exclusively for Alexy’s feature. #BlockEmOut #Kronos
The video for “My Band” by “Eminems group” D12 is pretty nostalgic these days with Eminem introducing the late Proof before his verse and Bizarre mocking “In Da Club” and mentioning “Lose Yourself” in his verse; those two songs alone are a pretty good summary of 2004. Eminem always said he wanted his wacky music videos to be a kind of time capsule of what was going on when he made the song and that’s exactly why when I watch this I remember everything in pop culture that happened in 2004, long live Shady Records and D12.
I think Pretty Ricky is one of the best artists of the 00’s. The 00’s get so slept on but I’m all about them bat mitzvah rap’s.
Hip Hop is a type of music and way of life born of disco, soul, funk, reggae, and SOOOO many other genres, Hip Hop was originally composed almost entirely of samples. Sampling originates from Jamaican DJs who back in the day called it “toasting”, this was where one aspect of a separate song was combined with the original mix to create a whole new energy and feel to the DJs mix. DJs like the legendary Dj Kool Herc in New York picked up this technique and intertwined aspects of disco, funk, soul and other genres to create Hip Hop. Sampling has been a bit of a misunderstood art for a long time now; people think that using someone else’s song to create a new one is unethical or “lazy” or unoriginal… and sometimes that can be true, but often these ideas themselves were just lazy generalizations that were a result of the old guards distaste for the cultural phenomena known as Hip Hop.
Now a great sample is like a great collage, it takes aspects of other pieces of art and truly transcends those separate parts to create a whole new aura and work of art. Sure you can always point to Diddy and say “but sampling just leads to people getting rich off of looping musicians songs and calling them their own” but does anyone ever point at Nickelback and say “this is why there shouldn’t be rock music??” of course not! Sampling can be one of the most beautiful forms of music in the world which is why it has been adopted by producers globally. In the modern age widely available producing technology equipped with pre looped drums and instruments has somewhat put a dent in samplings influence on Hip Hop but that will never take over totally because as long as there is Hip Hop there will be sampling.
Criteria and how I created the list:
Seriously I tried my best not to just make everything Kanye, like I really really freakin’ tried. This list is restricted to vocal samples so you will not be hearing any drum breaks or other instrumental samples although those are also pivotal aspects of Hip Hop and sampling (Complex has a dope article here for those). The samples were judged based on the nostalgia factor, originality, recognizability of the sample, and most importantly straight up how hot the sample made the rest of the song; A properly used vocal sample will join the beat and become it’s own instrument. The list is not in complete chronological order but the samples and songs that scored the highest on the criteria are definitely at the end of the list so that we can save the best for last. Without further ado I happily present to you the 20 greatest vocal samples in Hip Hop history:
Watch the video for Janet Jackson’s “Anytime, Anyplace” and you will instantly realize this was a gettin’ freaky anthem in 1993, producer Snoop Deville came across the sample and flipped the classic into the modern day game spitting banger that it is now. Deville expertly chops up his favorite parts of the original vocals to create an intimate tone and backdrop perfect for Kendrick Lamar & Drake to spit to their ladies and let them know that they can get it.
Fun fact about this song: Chris Webber(!) the former NBA star produced it. Word around though is Cool & Dre might’ve had some minor role in it’s final production but C-Webb is the only one with an official producer credit so I will lavish all the love on him. First off, sampling anything from “The Wiz” instantly makes it cooler than your average sample. Secondly, the way the sample is arranged is GENIUS; Starting off with the intro from the original song Nipsey Russell’s vocals gently usher in Nas’s verse at which point the beat falls back and let’s Nas comfortably tell his story of coming up and enabling the listener to get rare insight into a legends beginnings. Listening to the original sample you may not even really notice the women in the background saying “what would I do” but Webber smartly features those soft vocals as the chorus adding to the nostalgia of the track by repurposing the lyrics to ask what would Nas have done had he never found Hip Hop.
Ps. Here’s a legendary Nipsey Russell appearance on Late Night with Conan O’brien in 1996 that will really make you double take at how long ago the 90s feel.
Karma’s original song is a beautiful melancholic ballad accompanied by a sincere acoustic guitar; Jim Jonsin the man credited with producing the track flipped this (maybe without permission) into a hazy, borderline depressing beat which is perfect for reflecting on all the damn drugs you do. Cue Lil Wayne smack in the middle of his Codeine and Xanax phase and we have the best track of Wayne’s career pre “The Carter 3”; wayne mutters that he is a “prisoner locked up behind xanax bars” with such utter lack of emotion that I really believe he is on the verge of dying in the booth.
LA based producer Knxwledge has a knack for finding old records and owns a few thousand of them himself. The first time one hears Foster Sylvers song “Only My Love Is True” you see this baby faced boy singing about how true his love is, it’s really cute and sweet in a young Michael Jackson type of way but as most of those stories go young Foster Sylver eventually ended up an old, played out sex offender… moral of the story? Never grow up. Knxwledge flips the “ooohhhs” at the beginning of the sample to carry the verses along with some knocking drums and brings in the chorus from the original and repurposes it for his own hook and fits it in seamlessly.
So we all knew some Kanye productions would end up on this list and for good reason; West quite simply has a talent for flipping samples like none other and he leveraged that into the larger than life figure we know now. Kanye is always learning from others but back in the day before he had legends like A-trak in his ear, kanye used less conventional people (like say a girlfriend) to sample “white people music” But it was always clear where his true sampling love lied… Soul music. Before the indie sampling that appeared on “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” Kanye made his mark on the scene by speeding up the vocals from Soul records and giving his records a 1970s/60s Motown feel that would be imitated for years to come. “Black Maybe” the sample from the common song of the same name by Syreeta was originally produced by Stevie Wonder and “Never Change” by Jay Z samples David Ruffin who was in the legendary Motown group “The Temptations” and was ranked one of the greatest 100 singers ever by rolling stone magazine; Kanye wasn’t the first one to sample soul but he knew who the legends were and understood that he could use them to build his own legend, Kanye may not be the greatest at finding samples but he is the greatest at repurposing them.
14. Freddie Gibbs – “High” Samples Freda Payne – “I Get High (On Your Memory)
Madlib is one of the most respected producers in Hip Hop, he has worked on numerous classics including the modern day classic Piñata which is Freddie Gibbs best work to date and can largely be attributed to Madlibs beautifully old school sound. On this joint Madlib flips the classic Freda Payne track “I Get High (On Your Memories)” which is why it scored so high (no pun intended) on the nostalgia factor, Hip Hop and this sample have a history as whosampled can tell you. Freda Paynes song is reminiscing on an old friend and her memories with them and now the song has somewhat come to life in that sense because now when I listen to High by Freddie Gibbs or “Good Times” by Styles P or even “Pills N Potions” by Nicki Minaj I remember my old friend Freda Payne and how her memories live on throughout the same rappers and producers who parents may have been playing her when they were young. Sampling is a beautiful family tree of influences and whosampled is it’s Ancestry.com
The Isley Brothers impact reverberates far past their time; how many times have they been sampled? 604 times and counting according to whosampled. This is my personal favorite use of them (although Biggies “Big Poppa” is a close second) because the “well well well” from the sample is somewhat of a theme throughout the original song; 2pac and The Outlawz use it as the backbone of the beat and as a result it sounds silky smooth.
Big K.R.I.T. inspired what seems like a generations worth of artists to bite this sample from him so he gets major points for that. Repurposing Adele’s beautiful ballad about her home into one about your own may be somewhat unoriginal but goddamn it’s too perfect not to so I don’t blame him. Conventional thought when it comes to sampling ethics is that you should repurpose a songs meaning when sampling it to something totally new but every rule needs exceptions and when something is so heroic and inspiring as Adele’s original version you just have to use it.
Large Professor helped usher Nas into the rap game wayyy back in 1991 (which Nas references in the song) with the track “Live At The Barbecue“; so it’s only right he’s producing the track “You’re Da Man” almost 10 years later with a more mature Nas rapping, he’s a veteran now, he’s seen it all. Large professor repurposed the original chorus of the sample that goes “sugar man” and chopped it up so that it sounded like “you’re the man”; very cleverly distorting it and making it the new hook in which Nas uses to look back on the crazy 10 years since he came into the game. It’s a nice example of a legend reflecting on their life coming full circle and to have Nas’s original mentor producing the track makes it all the more nostalgic and genuine. (Check Out the movie “Searching For Sugar Man” if you ever get a chance it’s about the song and artist that’s sampled)
Graduation (the album “I Wonder” is on) is all about Kanye crossing over into that “stadium status”, he said he was inspired by the likes of U2 and Daft Punk to create the album to be played live and I can definitely see an emotional Kanye performing “I Wonder” to thousands of cheering fans singing “And I wonder if you know what it means to find your dreams come true”. Kanye takes the most relatable part of the sample and flips it into an absolute anthem which is why the song is considered somewhat of a cult favorite amongst West’s fans. Siffre’s original is a beautiful strike against anyone trying to bar him from singing his song because it’s his and his alone, Kanye related to that attitude and knew his fans would as well.
If heaven had a height this song would be that tall. The late J.Dilla brilliantly flipped this Bobby Caldwell ode using his favorite part of the chorus and uses it on “The Light” for the hook, Common uses the opportunity to gush about his love for Erykah Badu and a classic is born. Common famously wrote in his memoir “One Day It’ll All Make Sense” that he never finished the third verse to the song and yet it ended up being one of the most popular verses he’d ever done, funny how things work out.
The Game Likes to keep it real with his hoes; so when he heard Kanye’s original beat for “Wouldn’t Get Far” he knew it would be the perfect place to expose all these video vixens while also letting ladies know that a career as a video girl isn’t as glamorous as it seems. It would be interesting one day to see someone do this same concept with men and rappers… “wouldn’t get far, tryna spit bars, you know who you are, put you’re hands up homies!”. Creative Source’s original song is about a woman who could find her love anywhere in the world because no matter how far away her love goes she’ll stalk him, that’s cool I guess, whatever your into.
Wu-Tang’s debut album “Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” is a modern american classic, it changed the way Hip Hop was made forever and was a true representation of the gritty streets like nothing else before it. This was in a time when Young MC was winning rap Grammys so it’s safe to say the Wu were the equivalent to Odd future in terms of straight shock value at the time. “Can It Be All So Simple” is a bunch of degenerates and thugs stepping outside their usual surroundings to think about life in a broader scope, with a funky baseline and soft longing vocals various members of the Wu reminisce on their come up on the long island streets; Glady’s Knight’s vocals are as somber as they come and really make the track introspective.
Al Kooper’s track from the movie “The Landlord” is a calm vocal centric ballad that The Alchemist found and took the word “stand” and made it sound like “down”, now that’s altering a sample! The result is a hood knocker about looking out for your family and holding down the block, This effectively brought Prodigy back and started the Alchemist’s career so the track’s lasting impact has been much larger than the number 95 ranking it peaked at in 2004.
Clam’s Casino’s signature spacey sound can be traced to this very sample, he admits he’s used it repeatedly for multiple tracks and is the penultimate example of what chopping up airy women’s vocals can result in. The resulting beat is anthemic, nostalgic, subtle, powerful, and just about any other term of glory that you can use to describe it; leave it to Lil B the Basedgod to be the one to discover this track. Imogean Heap’s original track is quite haunting as its about leaving aside your depression and trying to focus on happiness, Clam’s takes the part where the singer beautifully annunciates “how did you know, it’s what I always wanted” and repurposes it as a statement about desire and the pursuit of happiness. The track is quite simply stunning.
Here it is, the song which is basically just one chopped up vocal sample, the inspiration for this list, Kanye did his usual soul speeding up magic but decided not to stop short at throwing in the vocals for a specific part and just throws them throughout the entire song. Kanye uses probably the most expensive sample you could ever hope to clear really just to flaunt and it shows in both Ye and Jay’s lyrics as they ease through the beat coasting off of wit and ego. The original is a ballad about how to please a women hence the “squeeze her” bit in the song and is as soulful as they come, the track is as cool as the other side of the pillow and Kanye figured it would match the “Watch The Throne” album theme perfectly, looks like he was right.
It’s hard to believe but at the time this track dropped Jay Z was still opening for Diddy on his “No Way Out” tour, he was not the cultural icon he is today, and he made a music video in which he said “I’m really thirsty. I used to dehydrate as a kid. It used to get really bad. My piss come out like snot … really thick and gooey.” Enter the most instantly recognizable vocal sample in the history of the world and a star is born; Jay z’s career would never be the same as he would go on to sell over 60 million records globally, Annie is still a pretty popular play these days too so i’d say everyone won. Check out this awesome Oral history on the song here.
Just Blaze flipped Rose Royce’s (how cool is that name) “I’m Going Down” into the definitive mid 2000s hip hop banger that thrust the Diplomats into full on stardom. Listening to the original sample at the beginning brings Alicia Keys to mind but the track gets funkier and funkier and tells of a women “going down” because her love isn’t around. Just Blaze finds just the right words to throw into the middle of Cam’ron and Santana’s verses and without the “boy” from the sample the verses wouldn’t even make sense, that’s what I call a crucial sample. This song is everything that was right about the early 2000s in terms of Hip Hop.
Eminems legendary track about a super fan has even coined a term; to be a “stan” now is to be someone who rides an artists dick way too hard, that is lasting impact people! All jokes aside this song is as haunting as it comes and the twist at the end never ceases to shock me, Eminem has always had a knack for telling painful stories that hit you deep down; we all idolize our heroes but maybe we really do get too wrapped up in all the worship, this song gets that point across as well as any ever. Didos original track is a “thank you” to her lover for making her life so worth living, it’s safe to say 45 king (the producer) really flipped the song properly in that he put it in a whole new context for Eminem to thrive in. This is the ultimate example of memorable vocals taking a good song and making it a classic one. Thank You, Dido.
2014 was a year. Some people thought it was really whack and other people still think that it was a good year. Those people are right because so many truths exist. Personally, I think all years are years, but this is what 2014 seemed like to me.
In 2014 I found out that I like jazz (thanks Haruki),
and everyone’s best friend CHAZZZY turned comedic mashups into a high art form.
Guy Akimoto and the rest of Manicure Records made people fall in love.
My hero, Chief Keef, had a tumultuous year – he was dropped from Interscope and he was arrested a lot. However, not all his changes were negative, Keef’s new career as a producer is one I plan to follow with the closeness. His career as a legal weed distributor is one that makes me smile,
and the homie Young Chop Beats did some cool ass things.
Channeling the god Spark Master Tape, I barely ever left the house.
Black Kray was on some other shit, as always.
I got these songs stuck in my head thanks to Teen Witch Fan Club’s twitter.
This album soothed my soul to sleep more than a few nights,
and T-Pain and Lil Wayne both decided they were still rock stars.
I told Nicky Hilton about Health Goth (before it was an official piece of pop culture lexicon).
Diplo and TY Dolla Sign did this for pop music and
PC Music got really famous. Really really famous. <3
Most importantly was Young Thug. He is my Time’s Man of the Year. Time Magazine is sometimes cool and sometimes lame. Young Thug is always cool.
UK Grime had a huge renaissance.
This song cheered me up a few times.
Our lord and savior, Kanye West, made #marriedwave a thing, while
Ryan Hemsworth showed us a lot of sweet stuff through his Secret Songs Showcase.
I had some issues.
but I fell in love too (with this song).
This guy had a big year.
Though, Mick Jenkins gave us a lot of think about
it was a quiet year from this (soon-to-be) legendary duo.
The remix game was murdered.
ARCA had a big release
and Fifty Grand started getting some serious attention.
Also, I guess people stopped selling molly.
I guess lastly, these two Americans (Miles and MMona) made a j-pop banger. (and took it off soundcloud)
Other stuff probably happened too but I was asleep.