Can’t believe I hadn’t gotten around to posting Nas yet. Illmatic, the album this is taken from, was one of the first rap albums that really made me sit up and take notice. It’s also a pretty awesome album title.
I still count the sample here as one of my all time favourites. I’m just speechless when I try to work out how how they got from here to there. It still sounds so fresh nearly 20 years later.
In other news here is some further proof that Boris Johnson has a way with words. It certainly raised a chuckle, particularly#19.
Skinnyman is a London rapper who grew up in the same neighbourhood as I currently reside. This is taken from his 2004 gem of an album Council estate of mind (good name too), from which I have already posted another track.
This track also has a wonderful balance between a smooth, almost pleading hook and gritty lyrics delivered in an effusive, rapid fire style. The motif of using soundbites from a movie, which appear throughout the album, really works well too.
We’re out on the streets tryna make our possession. The manor that we’re from has turned like a spaghetti western. With itchy fingers on the triggers ready for the pressin’ and its pure depression. I’m standin’ at the crossroads thinking ‘bout all the other children of the lost souls…
I have heard this a lot recently and really enjoyed it. It seems like Jay Electronica is set to be one of the breakout acts of 2012, certainly in the hip hop world.
The main reason I like it so much is the clever and fresh sounding sample. I have been thinking about samples quite a bit since posting Pete Rock and CL Smooth a few weeks ago. It really is an art form, I am a total sucker for a clever sample.
Pete Rock and CL Smooth* – They reminsce over you (T.R.O.Y)
A friend sent me a few tracks last week that had been sampled to pleasing effect. It got me thinking about this, which contains probably my favourite sample of all time.
What imagination Pete Rock must have! To take a 60’s psycadelic track and turn it into this is an extraordinary feat. Also, CL Smooth’s (what a great name for an MC) rhymes are so vivid and powerful here. Together they combine to make this one of the best hip hop tracks in history.
Spandau Ballet – True
I have realised that the 1980’s have been under represented on here recently and what better a way to address that anomaly than this? Classic and iconic, I can’t do it justice with words.
It came into my mind today in somewhat embarrassing fashion – A guilty pleasure of mine came onto my MP3 player. It was a cheesy Nelly track (I know, I know) that I am shamefully fond of and which uses a sample of True.
Also, how good is the video? Silhouettes, smoke and shoulder pads. Ah, the 80’s, they were simpler times,
Head over heels, when toe to toe, this is the sound of my soul. This is the sound…
These guys are an offshoot of Talking Heads, a pretty good place of origin. I this this is great, with an original and clever sound.
If the mark of a great song is how much it is sampled, this must be pretty special. A veritable who’s who of hip hop including Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Tupac Shakur and Public Enemy used this in various tracks. Not to mention this (WOW – blast from the past!!) or this (HA!). The last two are rarefied air indeed.
It is interesting how being sampled can make you hear a song in a new light and give it new life. However, I can’t think of another track that has been used twice in songs I enjoy. Let me know which of the three you prefer, or if you can think of another song that has been productively sampled more than once.