What up hiphop heads!
So as I'm doing research for an upcoming activity for HHC, I'm noticing how there is nothing new under the sun, especially in the hiphop community. We can claim to be as original as we want to be, but hiphop has mastered taking something and making it our own. Especially in music. Our music has come from the most obscure, and yet the most popular music that was created before us, but we've managed to use it in order to enhance our message. Sometimes we use jazz songs, rock songs, or even classical.
So, as I'm looking up the classic music we've made I'm noticing some of these songs have the same samples as other songs I heard. I do more research and I found out I wasn't trippin at all - these are the same samples! Now, there's nothing wrong with that, it's that some of them have been on waaay too many hiphop songs. So, I present to all you hiphop heads on my list of overly used samples for hiphop music.
#5: Melvin Bliss - Synthetic Substitution (1973)
You can hear the beat of the drums that are played in the beginning of this song in a number of hiphop beats (about 90 songs to be approximately exact lol), including "DWYCK" by Gangstarr, "Ego Trippin" by Ultra Magnetic MCs, "Potholes in my Lawn" by De La Soul, "OPP" by Naughty by Nature, and a host of others. Although he is not among the most popular artists out of the 70s, Melvin Bliss packs a powerful message that hiphoppers try to spit now - don't be synthetic substitution, be real!
#4: Funky President - James Brown (1974)
Ever wondered why "Hip Hop Hooray" sounds a lot like "Eric B. for President"? Well, Naughty didn't swagger-jack Eric B. & Rakim, they both used this sample. Not only these two artists, but Pete Rock & CL Smooth (Da Two), LL Cool J (6 Minutes of Pleasure), A Tribe Called Quest (Oh My God), and Das Efx (They Want Efx). This sample was one of many samples used in Public Enemy's Fight the Power. To put a number on it, a little over 100 songs used this sample (and that's just the ones I know of)! But it was used beyond its drum beat, with the use of the James Brown lyrics and ad-libs in the hiphop songs as well (i.e. the "Hey!" and "Funky" he shouts in this song).
#3: The Honeydrippers - Impeach the President (1973)
Now remember Marley Marl's little announcement in "The Bridge" by MC Shan ("Ladies and gentlemen, we have... he just came from off tour and he would like to tell you about where he comes from")? He totally took that from The Honeydrippers, as well as the drums in the beginning of this song. This sample was hot in the 80s, being used by Audio Two in "Top Billin", Big Daddy Kane's "Smooth Operator" and "Put Your Weight On It", and into the 90s with NWA (Gangsta, Gangsta), Biggie (Unbelievable), and Wu-Tang (Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nothin to Fuck Wit). You hear this beat slowed down in MC Lyte's "10% Dis", or sped up in Nas's "I Can". All total, this song was used in over 100 songs! Now, the point of this song, if it wasn't stated enough for you in the title, was to rally Washington into impeaching the president who was Richard Nixon.
#2: Ohio Players - Funky Worm
I would argue this is the funkiest song I've heard... ever. I may be biased being that they came from down the street from my hometown (I'm from Springfield, they're from Dayton Ohio lol), but you can't say the synthesizer was used and abused in this song! This song became the sample for almost all gangsta rap songs. A song wasn't gangsta without the bells jingling and the synthesizer out of Funky Worm. It seemed like this song will make anybody go gangsta in an instance. You can hear this song in NWA "Dopeman" and "Gangsta, Gangsta", MC Breed "Ain't No Future in your Frontin", Kriss Kross "Jump", De La Soul "Me, Myself and I", Erick Sermon "The Ill Shit", and many more! It was beyond gangsta rap this sample was used (as you can see with Kriss Kross and De La Soul lol), with X-Clan's "Xodus", DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince "Boom! Shake the Room", and Montell Jordan's "Gotta Get My Roll On", which now brings Funky Worm out of the hiphop genre. The thing about Ohio Players is that they put a huge stamp in funk music with this song (it was their first number one hit), but also with their heavy horns and play on the drums (not to mention their album covers). I feel like listening to their stuff right now!
#1: James Brown - Funky Drummer
"Ain't it funky?" asked James Brown. Yes it is! But do you know what Dido, Nas, Milli Vanilli, and Public Enemy have in common? They all sampled this song! It is the break in this song that everyone, in some shape or form, used in their song. This was used in over 100 hiphop songs, as well as numerous pop and rock songs. Some artists took the exact break and looped it into their beat, whereas some artists copied the beat using their own instruments. These artists include Depeche Mode in "My Joy", Guy "I Like", Public Enemy "Fight the Power", Run-DMC "Run's House", LL Cool J "Mama Said Knock You Out", Daedelus "Light's Out", and N.W.A. "Fuck the Police" - a huge spectrum of musicians among the list of people who used this sample.
Now, I'm just posting a blog and I am not going to count how many songs have this sample (as well as Funky Worm) because it is waaay too many in that list. I'll let you decide whenever you hear a hiphop record/CD/tape/mp3/etc what other songs you hear. But as you pick up your jaw because of the info delivered in this post, I hope it makes you more aware of the music you listen to is no where near as original as the songs before its time. I will be a good blogger and leave you with a link to the playlist of everything I mentioned. I hope you enjoy!
Top 5 Sampled Songs