"Dedicated To The Winners & The Losers..." - Raekwon


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.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

interesting read. why the weezy hate? can i just assume that some degree of over saturation and excess hype automatically brings out the polar opposite reaction from certain folks ..coz yknow from a totally broad, objective look at wayne's original voice and contribution to the game this last year, dude's totally decent at the least. also abt that stack tht paper up track, which i enjoyed listening to (those strings cant go wrong)... the verve were actually screwed by a dubious 50/50 sampling agreement with the rolling stones: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_Sweet_Symphony -jaykay

DocZeus said...

"why the weezy hate?"

Weeze just creeps me out more than anything. I wouldn't want to be alone in the same room with him. Plus, he seems like kind of a douchebag. Still...on occasion, he makes some competent music so he ain't compltely wack.

Trey Stone said...

alright now, let's not pretend like Mannie Fresh's solo album isn't both hilarious and ill.

i think Wayne seems kinda funny in interviews, although, i don't know if it's "funny" in an "i'd want to hang out with this dude" kinda way.

"I'm Me" kind of reminds me of music from one of those old RPG videogames i used to (unfortunately and way too much) play as a kid.

Renato Pagnani said...

I think “Say Yeah” is an awesome track, totally cheesy sample and all.

DocZeus said...

"I'm Me" kind of reminds me of music from one of those old RPG videogames i used to (unfortunately and way too much) play as a kid."

Well, he did sample Moby soooo....

Trey Stone said...

my apologies. my familiarity with Moby is basically limited to Eminem calling him a bald-headed fag on that one song.

what was the other song on the EP you liked? personally, after thinking "Gossip" was the shit when he ripped it on the BET Awards i was kinda disappointed with the studio version that leaked a while back. he sounds like he's about to fall asleep on the first verse

tray said...

Actually, I was terribly disappointed by Mannie's solo album - but I do fall into the "Mannie's a genius" camp. I mean, he produced Project Chick, Still Fly, Ha, Back That Ass Up, Cash Money Is An Army, Drag Em N Da River... a veritable legion of classics, if you will.

As for the Three Six song, they sampled the Nutcracker before, on Mike Jones's "Got It Sewed Up." It's worth checking out, if just for the beat.

Renato Pagnani said...

I also think that “Kush” is almost as good as “I’m Me,” but in different ways. And I agree with Trey that the studio version of “Gossip” lacks the urgency and intensity the live performance had.

DocZeus said...

"I mean, he produced Project Chick, Still Fly, Ha, Back That Ass Up, Cash Money Is An Army, Drag Em N Da River... a veritable legion of classics, if you will."

And all songs that I hate with a passion...well except for Project Chick BUT ONLY for the ignorance that was literally pouring out of the pores of that song...

Trey Stone said...

you hate "Still Fly?" damn. that's no fun.

i always identify "Back That Azz Up" with middle school cuz i swear it was the only song they played at dances other than Eminem and Dre. well that and Limp Bizkit.

Renato, i agree "Kush" is dope, and i'm partial to that "crackers with cheese" line. that's a repetitive-ass beat but it works for whatever reason. actually it's the only song on the EP i really like. i hope dude's getting some better production for the real deal. i wanna hear him rip some Timbaland shit. some good Timbo shit, not "Make Me Better"/"Put It Down"-style moldy leftovers

Anonymous said...

it wasn't the beatles, it was an orchestral rendition of a rolling stones song.

DocZeus said...

"it wasn't the beatles, it was an orchestral rendition of a rolling stones song."

Ok, well then. I did not know that.

brandon said...

It's 'The Last Time' from a 60s Rolling Stones with strings album- as in, not a cheesy "...Strings Tribute" type thing- made by their pretty amazing producer of the time, Andrew Loog Oldham. I'm sort of obsessed with the Born Wit It track; whether you like it or not, it's pretty confrontational and non-"hit" baiting to use a notoriously not-allowed-to-use sample.

tray said...

How can you hate Drag Em N Da River??? That beat is just genius. Out-of-tune keys, those cheap synths, people making random noises like bullfrogs, and Mannie's inimitable drum programming. It's like the rap equivalent of a Robert Johnson record. You probably hate Bout It Bout It too.

DocZeus said...

"How can you hate Drag Em N Da River??? That beat is just genius. Out-of-tune keys, those cheap synths, people making random noises like bullfrogs, and Mannie's inimitable drum programming. It's like the rap equivalent of a Robert Johnson record. You probably hate Bout It Bout It too."

I just dislike Mannie Fresh, ok? I hated old school No Limit then and I still hate them now.

As for "Bout It, Bout It", I can't give you an honest opinion since that song is too tied to being bored to tears at high school pep rallies when the marching band would cover it...for like four years straight.

the Ascetic Sensualist said...

I'm not sure what the sampled guitar lick is in "Down in tha Dirty" from the new Disturbing tha Peace compilation, by Luda, Bun B and (:() Rick Ross, but I *think* it's from Joss Stone's version of "Fell In Love With a Girl" ("Fell In Love With a Boy", that is). Which is an odd thing to sample, but a good choice, I think.

Anonymous said...

the song is called "god moving over the face of the waters".

Anonymous said...

yeah. Lil Weezy samples Moby's track "God Moving Over The Face Of The Water" - but who cares?! I reckon it works well. Now i got a hip-hop tune 2 fall sleep 2 instead a my played out Moby tape. That's right. Still rocking cassette. Ha ha. Weezy over Moby - that's how i roll now! "i know that ain't fair, but i don't care" damn i need more sleeps... Where's Tommy the Nose?!