Wiz Khalifa, Chevy Woods and Berner's kush-centric "Dispensary" is one of definite highlights of the new SXEW Vol. 1 tape, thanks in part to the chilled-out bliss supplied by its instrumental. The track's breezy synth line comes from the 1977 song "Especially For You" by '70s soul band Manchild, who are most famous for having a teenaged Babyface as an early member. This sample's previously been used by Curren$y on his track "Gifts" and The Alchemist and Prodigy on "I Betcha."
Leaked earlier this week, Groovy Q's "Blind Threats" has an old-school NYC vibe that isn't just a product of Raekwon's guest verse. The sample, used also in '90s tracks by Mobb Deep and Big Pun, is "Las Vegas Tango" from jazz vibraphone virtuoso Gary Burton's 1969 album Good Vibes. Pitched down from its original tone, the groovy sample became a bit more menacing; the perfect backdrop for Q and 'Kwon's cold-hearted verses.
The last one is a bit more obvious, with Rick Ross' new Diddy-produced track "Nobody" bearing more in common with Notorious B.I.G.'s "You're Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You)" than a title and a producer. Though it's been given some slightly modern touches, Ross' song has a nearly identical instrumental and message to Biggy's posthumous track. Both rappers were shot at while inside of cars, and that seems to be Ross' reason for offering us an update on B.I.G.'s meditation on death.
A breakdown of the week's hottest tracks by their samples.
When hip-hop began, samples were all that DJs and producers had to construct instrumental tracks with. They'd dig through crates of vinyl trying to find isolated drum breaks, melodies or vocals that they could repurpose for use in hip-hop music. Today, sampling has become less common, but a choice sample can still push a track from lukewarm to hot faster than you can say "uh huh honey."
Check back every Thursday for more record breaks from your favorite artists.