12 Divergent Samples: Compare & Contrast
Tyler The Creator – "Pigs" (2013)
Producer: Tyler The Creator
NWA - "Straight Outta Compton" (1988)
Producers: Dr. Dre, DJ Yella
Sample: The Winstons - Amen, Brother (1969)
The Winstons “Amen Brother” is a track that has been sampled in hip-hop on numerous occasions. These two tracks certainly show how the sample has been a mainstay over the course of hip-hop's evolution, with Tyler The Creator proving it's still an appropriate choice in the current game.
Both Tyler The Creator and NWA use the drum beat that kicks into the original sample choice around half through. Dre and DJ Yella slow it down a little, but keeps it very similar to its former sound. Tyler, on the other, hand takes the tempo down even more making what originally was an upbeat drum beat into a slow beat perfect for spitting over.
Ghostface Killah – "Child’s Play" (2000)
French Montana feat. Chinx Drugz – "Make Money" (2012)
Sample: Mountain - "Long Red" (1972)
Ghostface and French Montana use different elements from Mountain’s "Long Red" in these two very different songs. French's track remains mula-related and includes the “yeah” chants in the original track. RZA, on the other hand simply uses the electric guitar pieces subtly in the background, whilst you can also here the crowd echo sounds from “Long Red”.
Biggie Smalls – "Party & Bullshit" (1993)
Producer: Easy Mo Bee
Q-Tip – "Let’s Ride" (1999)
Producer: J Dilla
Sample: ESJ - "UFO" (1981)
ESJ’s "UFO" provides a screechy sample that has been used in varying ways in these two cuts. The sample, which has been most popular for hip-hop artists, kicks in at 0.18 seconds. Easy Mo Bee went onto use it as an integral part of the beat to Biggie's first single, "Party and Bullshit." J Dilla, on the other hand, opted to incorporate it only on the hook of Q-Tip's track in his whip cut "Let’s Ride."
Cam’ron feat. Jim Jones – "The Dope Man" (2004)
Kris Kross – "Jump" (1992)
Producer: Jermaine Dupri
Sample: Ohio Players – "Funky Worm" (1972)
The snake-charmer synth from Ohio Players’ "Funky Worm" hit has been incorporated into a number of hip-hop tracks such as Snoop Dogg’s "Serial Killer" and Ice Cube’s "Wicked." It is widely known, though, for being featured throughout “Jump”, the major '90s hit by Kris Kross, produced by Jermaine Dupri.
Cam’ron and Jim Jones got together to remake a version of N.W.A.’s “Dopeman”, where producer Bang brought forward the same samples. "The Dope Man" utilizes the snake sound as well as ad-libs by the Granny taken from the original version of “Funky Worm".
Nas - "Ain’t Hard To Tell" (1994)
Producer: Large Professor
Q- Tip –"Breathe and Stop" (1999)
Producers: Q-Tip, J Dilla
Sample: Kool & The Gang – "NT" (1971)
Nas and Q-Tip bring forth tracks here that take on completely different elements from Kool & The Gang’s “NT”, proving just how many different elements can be teased out of a song. Nas’ “Ain’t Hard To Tell” is based completely on a saxophone melody from “NT”, which pretty much goes on a loop throughout the track, giving the rapper a dope beat to rap on. Q-Tip and J Dilla, however, sample a drum beat from the track which makes it instantly recognizable.
Meek Mill - Middle of the Summer (2011)
Producer: The Beat Bully
De La Soul – Potholes In My Lawn (1989)
Producer: Prince Paul, De La Soul
Sample: Melvin Bliss – "Synthetic Substitution" (1973)
Beat Bully and De La Soul both borrow the drum beat from Melvin Bliss’s “Synthetic Substitution, but each make it their own. The Beat Bully puts emphasis on the drum, removing the original piano riffs to make it into a very summer-appropriate beat. De La Soul and Prince Paul, on the other hand, add in a trumpet to create a quintessential '80s sound.
Jay Z – "99 Problems" (2003)
Producer: Rick Rubin
A$AP Rocky – "Out of This World" (2011)
Producer: The Olympicks
Sample: Billy Squier – "The Big Beat" (1980)
Billy Squier’s “The Big Beat” is considered a staple in the sample game. The hard beat is prominently used throughout Jigga’s “99 Problems” which no doubt helped make the track a catchy and popular hit for Jay. A$AP Rocky’s “Out Of This World” also brings in the same beat after the intro, thanks to The Olympicks, but the sound draws a big contrast from Hov’s “99 Problems” as Rick Rubin brings in other samples as well to create a softer melody.
Joey Bada$$ - "Satellites" feat. Chuck Strangers, Kirk Knight and Dessy Hinds (2013)
Producer: Lee Bannon
Kanye West – "Lost In The World" feat. Bon Iver, Alicia Keys and Charlie Wilson (2010)
Producers: Kanye West, Jeff Bhasker, Ken Lewis
Sample: Lyn Collins – "Think (About It)" (1972)
On “Satellites” Lee Bannon sampled that 'Woo' from the Lyn Collins track, “Think (About It)" (heard around 1:24 mark) and brings it into a darker beat. Yeezy was also a fan, and sampled the beat and vocals on “Lost In The World”, which is a less obvious inclusion of the song.
Kanye and Jay Z feat Curtis Mayfield – "The Joy" (2010)
Producer: Pete Rock
BJ The Chicago Kid feat. Kendrick Lamar - "His Pain II" (2012)
Sample: Syl Johnson - "Different Strokes" (1967)
Syl Johnson’s grunts and giggling ladies have been used time and time again. One of the most notable has to be Kanye West and Jay Z’s “The Joy” produced by Pete Rock. The grunts are made an important part of the beat which we hear throughout this nostalgic cut, kicking in after Mayfield’s first hook. The inclusion of the sample in "His Pain II" is much more subtle, working as background noise by Sounwave for BJ The Chicago Kid, which in contrast, is more of an emotional track. Listen out for it in K Dot’s rap.
Ol' Dirty Bastard and Killah Priest feat. RZA, Masta Killa and Buddha Monk – "Snakes" (1995)
Lil Wayne feat. Chance the Rapper - "You Song" (2013)
Producer: Cam (J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League), Nate Fox, Peter Cottontale
Sample: Joe Tex - "Papa Was Too" (1966)
RZA incorporated this drum beat from Joe Tex, updating it and giving it a more current sound for the mid-90s track about all those snakes around him. J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Fox and Cottontale slowed down the beat a little to give it a mellow feel for the Dedication 5 cut “You Song” which fits perfectly into the love song.
Schoolboy Q – "Man Of The Year" (2013)
Producer: Nez and Rio
Deniro Farrar – "Fears" (2013)
Sample: Chromatics – "Cherry" (2012)
Both Schoolboy Q and Deniro Farrar's respective tracks borrow the melody from Chromatics' rock track, which lays down the main essence of their songs. SXMPLELIFE definitely slows it down a lot a more than Nex and Rio, who lace a drum beat perfectly to "Man Of The Year". The two tracks take on very different vibes, as Deniro Fears talks about getting out of the hood whilst Q celebrates his success thus far.
Atmosphere - "Little Man" (2007)
Nipsey Hussle "All Get Right" (2013)
Producer: Big Blizz
Sample: The O’Jays – "Who Am I" (1972)
On their respective tracks, Nipsey Hussle and Atmosphere both feature elements of the melody, background vocals and the beat. Nispey raps all over the sound sped up slightly, as he spits about where he’s at in the game. For Slug's typically insightful rhymes on "Little Man", Ant pumps up the tempo to the backing vocal, and provides a deeper track.