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Last night a sample saved my life
May 14, 2010 7:26 AM   Subscribe

50 Greatest Samples in Hip-Hop History with full original tracks. (via)
posted by gwint (51 comments total) 154 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh hell yes.
posted by jquinby at 7:29 AM on May 14, 2010


YES PLZ.
posted by deezil at 7:32 AM on May 14, 2010


Fantastic.
posted by Perplexity at 7:33 AM on May 14, 2010


[tig]
posted by sciurus at 7:35 AM on May 14, 2010


Oh hey, cool, you just posted basically the best thing in the universe.

I have been wanting to do essentially this website for a couple years, except in reverse. Take popular contemporary song, ID sample, trace use of sample backwards through other songs, end up with original recording. Give some background on the songs / producers / DJs & MCs along the way, with an eye towards kind of making a little narrative out of why that sample ended up in all those places. Why it matters. Good to see the internet has once again managed to do a thing better than I ever would have. Although who knows. I still might throw that together, put it up in Projects on of these days.
posted by penduluum at 7:37 AM on May 14, 2010


Hip Hop is Read posted the full list (and a critique)

50 David Axelrod - Holy Thursday
49 Les Demerle - A Day in the Life
48 Clyde McPhatter - Mixed Up Cup
47 The J.B.'s - The Grunt
46 Bob Azzam - Rain Rain Away
45 Richard Popcorn Whylie - Both Ends Against the Middle
44 Monty Alexander - Love and Happiness
43 David Axelrod - A Divine Image
42 Brian Bennett - Solstice
41 Placebo - Humpty Dumpty
40 David McCullum - The Edge
39 Brethren - Outside Love
38 Eugene McDaniels - Jagger the Dagger
37 Third Guitar - Baby Don't Cry
36 Billy Garner - I Got Some
35 Heath Bros. - Smilin' Billy Suite Pt. II
34 Billy Brooks - Forty Days
33 Jack Wilkins - Red Clay
32 Gwen McCrae - 90% of Me is You
31 Weldon Irvine - We Gettin' Down
30 Tom Scott - Today
29 24 Carat Black - Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth
28 Minnie Riperton - Inside My Love
27 Ray Bryant - Up Above the Rock
26 Ronnie Foster - Mystic Brew
25 Kool and the Gang - Who's Gonna Take the Weight
24 Bernard Wright - Haboglabotriben
23 Manzel - Space Funk
22 James Brown - Mind Power
21 The Meters - Look-ka Py Py
20 The J.B.'s - Pass the Peas
19 Isaac Hayes - Walk on By
18 Bill Doggett - Honky Tonk Popcorn
17 Thunder and Lightnin' - Bumpin' Bus Stop
16 Cymande - The Message
15 Kool and the Gang - Let the Music Take Your Mind
14 Kid Dynamite - Uphill Peace of Mind
13 Babe Ruth - Mexican
12 The Ohio Players - Funky Worm
11 Foster Sylvers - Misdemeanor
10 Kool and the Gang - Chocolate Buttermilk
9 Maceo & the Macks - Soul Power '74
8 The Meters - Cardova
7 James Brown - Funky President
6 Manzel - Midnight Theme
5 Isaac Hayes - Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic
4 James Brown - Give It Up or Turnit a Loose (Remix)
3 Skull Snaps - It's a New Day
2 Melvin Bliss - Synthetic Substitution
1 The Honey Drippers - Impeach the President
posted by cashman at 7:37 AM on May 14, 2010 [10 favorites]


WOO.
posted by MidAtlantic at 7:40 AM on May 14, 2010


Who Sampled? is a pretty awesome little site, too.
posted by cdmwebs at 7:40 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cool.
posted by chococat at 7:48 AM on May 14, 2010


fan-freakin'-tastic...I'm only up to 41, but I'm going to force myself to get some sleep and come back on the weekend. too late to be processing such an excellent collection.
posted by squasha at 7:51 AM on May 14, 2010


the-breaks.com is pretty awesome too. Without it I'd have never discovered some of the essential jazz behind some of the essential hip-hop, like Cannonball Adderley's "Fun" (sampled by Gang Starr in "The Place Where We Dwell").
posted by blucevalo at 7:53 AM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dear gwint,

can we be best friends? I made you this bracelet... you know... if you want to, like, wear it or something.

hugs,
dnesan

P.S. This is amazing, thanks for this.
posted by dnesan at 7:57 AM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Who Sampled? is a pretty awesome little site, too.

That's neat - I hadn't seen that before. the-breaks has been around forever, but I was always disappointed that he didn't include rap songs sampled by other rap songs. Who Sampled at least tries to list rap songs that sampled other rap songs. They miss a ton, for example, with who has sampled Eric B & Rakim's "I know you got soul", but they have a pretty substantial list. Cool.
posted by cashman at 7:59 AM on May 14, 2010


Also, no Funky Drummer just kind of invalidates the whole thing. I'm sure they're kicking themselves over that one.
posted by cashman at 8:02 AM on May 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


50 David Axelrod - Holy Thursday

Who woulda thunk Obama's senior advisor was such a happenin' guy?
posted by amyms at 8:03 AM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, no Funky Drummer...

Or for that matter, the Winstons' "Amen, Brother." Although, I guess that's more of a D&B thing?
posted by griphus at 8:06 AM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Common Man by David Ruffin.

Sampled in Jay-Z's classic Never Change.
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo at 8:12 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Next step is for somebody to record a song featuring all 50 and post it to Music.
posted by randomination at 8:15 AM on May 14, 2010


Ditto griphus.

Missing the most ubiquitous sample ever:

The Amen break, taken from The Winstons' Amen Brother.
posted by brand-gnu at 8:31 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Clearly they have not seen Funktual's performances, his bombastic style of revealing the sample sources is awesome, it betrays a deep love of music that the plain text simply doesn't convey

DJ Funktual's Channel

He even runs down the history a lists the big tracks that use the samples, all while making it a big performance for his audience. I cannot promote him enough, especially in light of this post on the blue.
posted by NiteMayr at 8:33 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is fantastic, and is really going to make my Friday fly by. Thanks so much for sharing this!
posted by xedrik at 8:35 AM on May 14, 2010


This is one sweet shopping list.
posted by orme at 8:38 AM on May 14, 2010


This is some really great stuff, but I can't help but feel like it'd be more accurately titled, "50 Greatest Samples in Hip-Hop Between 1990 and 1995"
posted by Copronymus at 8:44 AM on May 14, 2010


Shamefully missing: Liquid Liquid - Cavern
posted by rocket88 at 8:50 AM on May 14, 2010


I ❤ David Axelrod.
posted by The Mouthchew at 8:52 AM on May 14, 2010


Can I get a hell yes? Oh hell yes.
Can I get a hell yes, please? YES PLZ!
This is great, this is great, fantastic post
Plus forty nine favorites as of just this post
On the blue, not a soul gonna diss [tig]
Tell it cashman! Hip Hop is Read posted the full list
Shout outs from MidAtlantic WOO
CDMwebs drops Who Sampled; and it's fan-freakin'tastic.
Bluecevalo drops the-breaks, and does him one better,
And then the thread's all up in dnesan with a love letter
No funky drummer? No amen brother?
Common Man, TMT drops another, yo.
Click NiteMayr's link, click preview click play;

Today'll be a good day.

posted by mhoye at 8:53 AM on May 14, 2010


I'm always found hip-hop (in my better days we called it rap) samples to be an unending source of new music discovery. a great list. thanks!

Having said that ... I don't know how you can have a list called "greatest" without Chic's "Good Times" or George Clinton/Funkadelic.

You can call it "The Best 50 Hip-Hop Samples" and it's a good list, but not "The Greatest."

It is pretty damn good. I have to say when I first saw the post, No. 40 and No. 5 jumped in my mind and there they were.

... but 'cmon:

Funkadelic - (Not Just) Knee Deep
Average White Band - Pick Up the Pieces
Mighty Ryeders - Evil Vibrations
Parliament - Mothership Connection
Banbarra - Shack Up
Fred Wesley and the JBs - Blow Your Head
Lyn Collins - Think (about it)

familar?

I think if you say "greatest" you have to include some of the big mainstream stuff like Jamie's Cryin and Superfreak. Still, great list.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:53 AM on May 14, 2010


Cool, thanks!
posted by carter at 8:53 AM on May 14, 2010


penduluum: "Oh hey, cool, you just posted basically the best thing in the universe.

I have been wanting to do essentially this website for a couple years, except in reverse. Take popular contemporary song, ID sample, trace use of sample backwards through other songs, end up with original recording. Give some background on the songs / producers / DJs & MCs along the way, with an eye towards kind of making a little narrative out of why that sample ended up in all those places. Why it matters. Good to see the internet has once again managed to do a thing better than I ever would have. Although who knows. I still might throw that together, put it up in Projects on of these days.
"

Heh - A couple years ago I had attempted a wiki called samplesource on my site, but it never got users, and fell prey to spammers (I'm not a very good server admin for that, I guess) I think it's still a great idea, and hope someone gets around to doing it.
posted by symbioid at 8:53 AM on May 14, 2010


I don't know these guys, but God I used to hate "collectors" of hip hop breaks. I could never understand the mentality; I was actually producing beats, and these guys had all these great records sitting on a shelf collecting dust just so they could say they owned it. "This record is worth like $500!" Whatever. It's already been sampled and whoever buys it for $500 just because Large Pro used it in the 90s is dumb. It made digging so much harder. You literally had to go through the new records at the shop before the clerks knew what they're looking at. I eventually just started sampling digital media, even mp3s. No one can really tell the difference, but when you tell these collectors you used an mp3 or CD their heads explode.
posted by Kirk Grim at 9:06 AM on May 14, 2010


That whosampled site is sweet. I always wanted to know the beat behind 1st of tha Month

Then, of course, there's Bill Withers and the Player's Holiday.

I guess we could do this all day ... Firecracker.

Lowell Fulsom - Tramp
posted by mrgrimm at 9:06 AM on May 14, 2010


I've always loved the premisses of Dr. Carter saving critically underperforming rappers by putting some vocab in their iv.
posted by Hoenikker at 9:07 AM on May 14, 2010


Also, no Funky Drummer just kind of invalidates the whole thing.

I guess the title doesn't say "50 Most Used Samples in Hip Hop History", but I'm with you on this.
posted by tuck_nroll at 9:08 AM on May 14, 2010


Against my own better judgment, I forwarded this to my husband. Now he's going to want to own ALL these records. I'm doomed.

Seriously, though, awesome.
posted by threeturtles at 9:08 AM on May 14, 2010


Torrent, plz :)
posted by word_virus at 9:09 AM on May 14, 2010


Great post. Thanks.
posted by joedan at 9:28 AM on May 14, 2010


These are the breaks.
posted by Uncle Ira at 9:28 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I expected to see Planet Rock on there, but I guess it samples heavily itself and the list was going back to source material.
posted by cyclopticgaze at 9:35 AM on May 14, 2010


My kingdom for a torrent!
posted by pjaust at 9:45 AM on May 14, 2010


So good.
posted by minifigs at 9:51 AM on May 14, 2010


The Heavy's "Sixteen" pulls a great sample off of "I Put a Spell On You."

My sample-tracing goes in a different direction: movies. Tracking down My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult samples and others of that mid-eighties to late-nineties industrial/techno/whatever genre leads to some fascinating trainwrecks of films. Shame the industrial sample website died.
posted by adipocere at 9:51 AM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Whoot, glad you all like it (I'm an editor there)! Yeah, there were plenty that didn't make it onto the list, but it wasn't our list—we left it up to Kon and Amir. Personally, I would've wanted to see the "Ode to Bille Joe" breakbeat and Lou Donaldson's "Everything I Play Gonna Be Funky" in there. We've got other ones in the works as well; any producers whose own 50 favorites you'd want to read?
posted by LDL_Plackenfatz at 9:54 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gaz - Sing Sing
posted by empath at 1:04 PM on May 14, 2010


Ultimate Beats and Breaks

Easily found on bittorrent sites.
posted by empath at 1:05 PM on May 14, 2010


The list is really good. A little predictable for the top ten but definitely a quality list. It was awesome for me just to see some of the original artwork for some of those records. Like who the hell has seen that pass the peas/cold sweat original 12 inch.

And I had NO idea that Stezo was the first person to use Skull Snaps. I always just assumed that Afrika Bambata handed it to Jazzy Jay at some point in the park.

The reason that bands like chic and funkadelic aren't on the list is that this is more of a record collector's list of best samples. And besides a lot of the JB's stuff, NOBODY ever heard of Melvin Bliss before it was sampled for Ego Trippin.

Also, Liquid Liquid by cavern wasn't sampled as far as I know, It was just recreated in the studio by the sugar hill studios band for "the message"
posted by LouieLoco at 1:06 PM on May 14, 2010


Take me to the Mardi Gras

Apache

Previously
posted by empath at 1:09 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you want an objective take, the previously-linked WhoSampled has a blog and their most recent post went over the top 10 most sampled breakbeats using numbers from their site. Really interesting.
posted by flatluigi at 1:14 PM on May 14, 2010


I can take it. Hurt me some more. Thatallyougot?
posted by Twang at 2:42 PM on May 14, 2010


Surely, this will force me to stop, collaborate and listen.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:32 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Overlooking "Apache" is unforgivable...

...and where's Syl!?!?!

BUNK!
posted by MeatLightning at 5:57 AM on May 15, 2010


This is nice. I don't think I would've lasted more than two minutes on this if it was the same old bullshit. So there's that. They even included a Library record (#42)!
posted by P.o.B. at 2:26 PM on May 16, 2010


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