27Jan/1112

It’s Mostly The Sample…

It’s mostly tha voice, that gets you up.
It’s mostly tha voice, that makes you buck.
A lot of rappers got flavor, and some got skills
But if your voice ain’t dope then you need to [chill... chill... ]

What defines a dope track? For many of us Guru was on point, it is the voice. For some, it’s the beats and in this case it’s mostly the sample being used. It’s a topic that usually gets overlooked but when you look back at many of the crowd favorites of yesteryear you’ll notice how prevalent this really was in the 90s. If you sampled anything off Illmatic, ATCQ or Rakim you pretty much had a sure-fire hit on your hands.

This is not to say you can’t have a really dope track with an equally dope sample, “Take It In Blood” or “I’m Ill” are testaments to that, but with the death of vinyl, indie labels, non-existent budgets and a surge in sampling lawsuits you’re likely not going to hear many new tracks featuring these invigorating samples. That is, unless you’re sampling your own work, see DJ Premier.

We wish more rappers sided more with Jay-Z on this one…

So yeah I sampled your voice, you was usin it wrong
You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song

But they don’t. So here are some examples where it’s mostly the samples…



What are some joints you liked where the best attribute were the samples being used?

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12 Responses to “It’s Mostly The Sample…”

  1. cratesofjr says:

    Too many joints to name where I loved the sample dominance. For the 80′s I like alot of Juice Crew stuff where James Brown’s sound was there. For the 90′s I love Jazz elements of horns, upright bass and rhodes from the CTI, Kudu, Polydor and Blue Note catalogs.

    I would also have to break it down and give credit to a certain crop of 70′s musicians that were sampled who designed sounds which were very original to music and distinct to the ear. A short list of my favorites are

    David Axelrod
    Quincy Jones
    Stevie Wonder
    James Brown
    Isaac Hayes & David Porter
    The Mizell Bros.
    Gamble & Huff
    Bernard Purdie
    Herbie Hancock
    Bob James
    Leon Sylvers III

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  2. BENBASS says:

    Group Home’s Inna City Life and Livin Proof

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  3. cenzi says:

    EAZY E – Eazy Duz It -and Boyz in the Hood – Dre makes an amazing collage using tons of old school hip hop records.

    CMW – self-sampling: “Always strapped… and eager to pull a cap”, on “Hood Took Me Under”

    And everyone knows that with the Jeru + Q-tip sample, “when the east is in the house / oh my god”, Blahzay Blahzay wouldn’t have hit so hard with Danger.

    Primo got his ass sued by Chuck for it, but “Ten Crack Comandments” wouldn’t have been shit without his vocal sample.

    there are hundreds… these were off the top of the dome.

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  4. philaflava says:

    Good call on Danger. You’re right, without that sample the track wouldn’t have been the same. Case in point the fucking boring remix.

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  5. ted says:

    i think this post is about samples of other rap songs not musical samples,
    so hold off the james brown/axelrod shouts

    freeway – escalators
    az – rather unique, or any song that samples just rhymin’ with biz
    beatnuts – fried chicken, i remember being especially into the beatnuts’ first album for sampling wu tang on a couple of tracks before anyone else did and snoop, AND they quoted rhymin’ with biz

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  6. Strategy says:

    Yeah. I think a bunch of folks are misunderstanding that Thun is referring to vocal samples from other hip-hop tracks (see the forum: http://is.gd/PHhvLd)

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  7. Strategy says:

    That High and Mighty joint is the perfect example for me of creatively using the vocal samples in a way that flips their meaning. In addition to the “You’re not original” Brand Nubian cut, they killed it at the end of the song when they used Biggie’s Ten Crack…”Shoulda been number one to me” to give props to a bunch of hip-hop classic pioneers

    That’s real hip-hop ish.

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  8. Mike/Konsept says:

    The whole Group Home album. I like nutcracker and lil dap, but let’s be for real, they weren’t that skilled on the mic compared to Guru. Fat Joe’s first two albums. Mediocre Rapper with some bangin DITC beats.

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  9. ted says:

    p.s. these are all good songs btw, no ‘sham & the professor’ here, i don’t remember the shit ones
    black moon – make munnie (krs muffled)
    fat joe – bronx keeps creating it
    jeru – brooklyn took it
    lootpack – whenimondamic/hityawitdat
    mf doom – the mic/go with the flow
    nine – any emcee
    alkaholiks – 2014
    biggie – machine gun funk

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    • Joneski says:

      Blahzay Blahzay – “Danger” IMMEDIATELY came to mind

      a couple self-sampling ones:
      MC Shan – “The Bridge” (even though they didn’t sample off a record, per se)
      Notorious B.I.G. – “Big Poppa”
      Eric B. & Rakim – “Follow The Leader”

      A Tribe Called Quest – “Sucka Nigga”
      Royal Flush – “Rotten Apple”
      Souls Of Mischief – “Disseshowedo” among others off ’93 ’til’
      Ice Cube – “Who’s The Mack?”

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