You. Must. Learn.
Today I got a lesson in hip hop, musically speaking. When I got home today I found myself yearning to hear Usher’s “Throwback” from Confessions. That was the bomb album by Usher right? Anyway, I love that song, and I was curious about the sample used in the track.
So I googled “usher throwback sample” and the #1 result was a link to a blog post listing a whole bunch of hip hop tracks and the samples they come from. It was like finding gold! Even better, it included an mp3 mix of the samples, put together by ?uestlove.
Click here to see the list. Click the title of the post to pull up the mp3, and enjoy.
I learned something today, because I was not aware of some of those originals. The ones that really killed the game include Willie Mitchell – “Grovin'” = GZA – “Liquid Swords,” Billy Cobham – “Heather” (Wounded Bird) = Souls of Mischief – “93 Till Infinity,” Samuel Johnson – “My Music” = Jadakiss – “We’re Gonna Make It,” and David McCallum – “The Edge” = Dr Dre – “Next Episode.” The entire list is utterly amazing. I never knew some of these artists existed, but their samples laid the foundation for tracks that go down in hip hop history.
You don’t really know music if you aren’t aware of what you’re enjoying came from. How can you make a determination of what’s current unless you know your history? It’s beautiful to see how soul music gave birth to hip hop. And while critics bash the use of samples in hip hop, samples bridge the gap. When executed well, it’s powerful and brings the soul to hip hop.
By the way, the sample used in the Usher track is Dionne Warwick, “You’re Gonna Need Me.”
P.S. I cannot get over the Liquid Swords sample. Ill!