Tuesday, January 15, 2008
You Sampled That Shit!!!: 5 New Songs That Have Some Really Ridiculously Hilarious Samples
A short history lesson: Long before white rock musicians discovered that the threatening black sounding gibberish they called “hip hop” playing on their kids’ boom boxes sounded vaguely familiar, there was this magical thing called a “sample.” “Sampling” as defined by the super computer that is designed to calculate the ultimate answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, also known as Wikipedia, is “the act of taking a portion, or “sample”, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or element of a new recording.” This used to be common place in hip hop and genius works of arts arose from this practice. Of course, that was until those previously mentioned white rock musicians caught major feelings about those hooligan rappers using the bass-line to “Layla” and decided that they would further piss on the ideals of their hypocrite generation and force these rappers to pay for their samples as if anybody who liked hip hop gave a damn that De La Soul sampled Steely Dan for “Eye Know.”
Flash forward twenty years, hip hop has been practically ruined by Mannie Fresh and the wack ass melodies that are coming out of his keyboard (I kid, I kid!) because labels refuse to pay out for sample clearances and if and when hip hop artists are actually allowed to sample it usually falls into the tried and true category of either James Brown, The Meters or Parliament (You know because those dudes are black so fuck ‘em if their music is getting raped, right?). However, all is not lost. Here are five songs that have some ridiculously out there samples (which I’m sure will never be cleared) that I kind of like despite myself. No hipster.
In no particular order but Lil’ Wayne is definitely last because I’m a hater like that...:
1. Wiz Khalifa - Say Yeah
After doing the type of research that would make Scott Templeton proud, I discovered that this kid, Wiz Khalifa, is from Pittsburgh, a town best known for the fact that it’s not Cleveland, and is apparently like the first rapper from there...like ever. “Say Yeah” samples the late ‘90s trance staple, “Better Off Alone” by Alice Deejay which was a staple of every high school dance I ever attended (which would be two but still...) and more than likely more than one car commercial probably for a Mazda. What I like about Wiz’s version is that he changed virtually nothing from the song and thus he kept the songs undeniable cheese ball glory of 90s techno music in tact thus making me wistful for my favorite decade of my life. Wiz isn’t doing anything particularly interesting lyrically as this is your standard club rap fare but its basically saved by the fact that the sample is that ridiculously cheesy. Dipset should have gotten to this first.
2. Three 6 Mafia Feat. UGK - On Sum Chrome
For those that don’t know, this is the last song that Pimp C recorded before he kicked the bucket and it’s quite the doozy. For one, it samples “Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy” from the motherfucking “Nutcracker Suite.” Yes, the last song that Chad Butler ever appeared on has a Tchaikovsky sample which is kind of oddly fitting for somebody as willfully weird as Pimp C. What I like about the song other than the warm feelings of Christmas that it evokes is the short DJ Premier-esque samples of previous UGK hits like “Pocket Full Of Stones” that float ghostly over the song that gives the song an eerie and somewhat epic feeling. I have no idea if that was the original intention of the song before Pimp C’s unfortunate death but for a song that is purportedly the last of a storied career, its a genius idea. Maybe Juicy J and DJ Paul aren’t complete clowns.
3. Young Buck - New York City
I’m not quite sure the moment that I became a fan of Young Buck. I initially rejected the notion that he was the only weed carrier on G-Unit that was a worth damn because I definitely hated his early verses the most on Beg For Mercy but somewhere between Straight Outta Ca$hville and Buck The World I warmed on the dude. Perhaps, it’s because Buck is not from New York and thus not as prone to say Yayo’s devoted 50 dick worshiping, he is capable to occasionally break out of the G-Unit formula and make the occasional great song. “New York City” which samples inexplicable hip hop favorite, Phil Collins classic “In The Air Tonight” is Buck’s ode to my current address and is this pretty little song in the tradition of “Driving Down The Freeway” which made my Best Of List (and probably was one of the songs that my friend, Jesse, said sounded R&B on my list). At this point, its a national crime that 50 Cent is holding Buck back. We need Supreme Court intervention, its getting serious.
4. Lil’ Wayne - I’m Me
“The Leak” came and went and to my absolute non-surprise it was like every other insanely over-hyped Lil’ Wayne mixtape that’s been released since people began confusing him with Rakim. A few great little songs and a bunch of filler which for a 5 song EP is not that great and doesn’t bode well for Mr. Carter’s upcoming masterpiece/rusty-coat-hanger abortion, Tha Carter III. “I’m Me” was one of the two songs on the the EP that caught my attention. Mostly because it sampled “God Moving Over The Face Of The World” from Moby’s Everything Is Wrong, an album that was staple of the Young Doctor Zeus’ brief and completely ill-advised foray into techno music in high school. (Hey, I was young, impressionable and easily swayed then. Please don’t hold that against me.) “I’m Me” has this epic feeling and Wayne really goes in on this one. Well as much as a guy who makes a tired Kevin Federline reference can but still...
5. Born Wit It Feat. B.O.B. - Stack My Paper Up
Breihan put me up on this. It samples “Bittersweet Symphony.” The less we dwell on this song the better for my reputation. I will say this about this song: discussing this song with my co-worker this week, I was informed that the Verve apparently had to give up all the royalties to this song to the Beatles (err, Michael Jackson) because apparently the original song samples some obscure ass Beatles song and because I don’t care enough to the do the research, I’m gonna ask my loyal readers if this is true. This is a great song, though. I mean come on, it samples effin' “Bittersweet Symphony.” It can’t be thaaaaat bad.
That’s all for today. As usual because I give these songs my co-sign, they should instantly be considered great and I will accept no disagreement...after all, I am a doctor.