First of all, sampling is fucking awesome. There, I said it and I’m sticking to it. If you don’t care for sampling and want to toss me your (garbage) theory on why sampling is not original music or why real instrumentalists don’t need samples, please just move on. No offense, but if that’s the case, this is not the article for you. For everyone else, read on and discover some cool shit….and yes, I am particularly fond of sampling if you couldn’t tell by my little rant there.
Anyways, a while ago I stumbled across an amazing internet series put on by egotripland called Sample Flips that is well, as you might guess, about how producers flip samples into all sorts of cool songs/beats/sounds or whatever. But there’s a twist too. Instead of some blog author just calling out a few interesting samples here and there, they actually got some of my (and hopefully your) favorite musical artists to call out their favorite samples from songs and identify what they are. Pretty damn cool right? …well, the answer to that is yes. It was meant to be rhetorical 🙂
So without further adieu, the following are some of my favorite sample flips that egotripland featured (as well as some of my personal noted highlights from each):
Four Tet’s Sample Flips Highlights:
- Did you know the main melody in Radiohead’s famous song “Idioteque” is sampled from an early piece of electronic music? Neither did I but it’s pretty amazing!
- 93 til Infinity is one of my favorite hip-hop beats that sampled a great song by Billy Cobham. Bonus points if you realized that this song was also recently sampled in The Underachievers song “The Mahdi”. To be honest, I wasn’t sure until I relistened to the original Cobham song again but it definitely is.
- The way Clams Casino samples Imogen Heap for his stellar beat “I’m God”.
- How Burial takes a tiny seemingly unimportant vocal moment from a Ray J song to make the iconic vocal sample in arguably his best known song “Archangel”.
El-P’s Sample Flips Highlights:
- How MF Doom samples the intro to the Scooby Doo song to make a sweet beat.
- How EPMD sampled Joe Cocker’s “Woman to Woman” which…..wait for it. Was also sampled by…………..(I’m pausing for dramatic effect so you listen and think about it). Yes, that’s right the famous West Coast anthem by Dr. Dre and Tupac “California Love”
- How MHz used the epic sample from the Rolling Stones “Monkey Man” to create a great hip hop beat.
A-Trak’s Sample Flips Highlights:
- How Puff Daddy’s “It’s All About the Benjamins” is a slowed down sample of Love Unlimited’s “I Did It for Love”
- How Eric Prydz ‘ break out track “Call On Me’ samples Steve Winwood
- How Daft Punk samples guitar stabs from a Sister Sledge song to create the infamous “Aerodynamic”. Sampling so good you have to really listen for it.
- How DJ Premier samples a short bit from a very carefree Les McCann song and turns it into a very sinister Notorious B.I.G. beat for the “Ten Crack Commandments”
- How J Dilla sampled a Thomas Bangalter (1/2 of Daft Punk) record for the Slum Village hit song “Raise It Up” and did it within a few years of the original song’s release. Impressive.
DJ Rashad & DJ Spinn’s Sample Flips Highlights:
- DJ Rashad sampling Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do For Love” which, as you might realize, was also sampled in the popular Tupac song “Do For Love”
- How DJ Spinn samples Jamiroqui without even knowing it just thinking it’s some random song from Napolean Dynamite.
- How Just Blaze turns Billy Stweart’s “Cross My Heart” into a amazingly funky beat.
Prince Paul’s Sample Flips Highlights:
- Dr. Dre’s sampling of Leon Haywood for the classic “Nuthin but a G Thang”
- How Prince Paul is able to sample a Mickey Mouse song into a hip-hop beat, go figure.
- And where the sample from Nelly’s classic “Hot In Herre” song actually came from and how Prince Paul had thought to use it a year earlier for a beat.
- Would you have ever imagined that RZA would sample the Underdog theme song for the classic “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nothin’ Ta F Wit”? I would not.
And if after checking these out you find yourself hungry to uncover more samples, you can take a gander at Who Sampled which has a pretty solid database of song samples. But again, make sure that whenever you’re posting or writing about sample related stuff that you keep the artist’s intentions in mind. The last thing you want to do is get an artist in legal trouble just by being overly curious and excited about what cool old song they sampled in order to make your favorite track and then in turn have the original sampled artist find out and be pissed. That would be very not cool.