Friday, November 20, 2009

Samples of the Year 2000

As we approach 2010, I set out on this mission with the expectation of wrapping up a decade’s worth of the best samples of the 2000’s, but the task was too great for me to finish by December 31st. I hope you won’t mind that this series will run well into next year.

What you’ll find below are a total of 38 samples for songs from 2000. Why 38? That’s what I could fit into a 200 MB .zip file! After I finish wrapping up the decade, I’ll probably compile a mix or two of leftover samples. That’s where you can come in! In the comment section below, please feel free to add any samples you remember from 2000 (or 2001, 2002…). The tracks I’ve included below were my own personal favorites. For the most part, I went after single releases, but many of these are b-sides and album-only tracks. Enough chit chat, here’s the music… Dig in!

Albert King – “Oh, Pretty Woman”
Sampled for: Wu-Tang Clan – “Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)”

What a way to jump things off! Produced by the RZA, “Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)” actually featured a handful of samples; but it’s the loop that begins at around 01:17 of Albert King’s “Oh, Pretty Woman” that strikes out the most. I’m not surprised the RZA was digging through some blues records since his musical palette is extensive, but how did he conceive of this ridiculous cut? The sample was originally released on King’s 1967 album Born Under a Bad Sign which was later included on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Baby Huey – “Hard Times”
Sampled for: Ghostface Killah – “Buck 50 (featuring Method Man, Cappadonna & Redman)”

Beyond gully, “Buck 50” was the bangingest Wu-Banga on Supreme Clientele, hands down. Everybody’s verses flowed seamlessly, but Reggie’s was notable for offering a rare Red/RZA tandem; now what’ll it take for The Abbot to produce a Mef-less track for Redman?

Biz Markie – “Make the Music With Your Mouth”
Sampled for: Jay-Z & Mya – “Best of Me, Pt. 2”

Unleashed by DJ Clue on his “Backstage” mixtape to the Hard Knock Life tour, “Best of Me, Pt. 2” was one of those tracks that were better than the original (sorry, Kiss). The unmistakable snare stabs and various vocal snippets on this Biz classic provided the basis for this summer anthem featuring two of the hottest solo acts of the time, Jay-Z and Mya.

Blowfly – “Outro”
Sampled for: Jurassic 5 – “Quality Control”

“Quality Control” was the first J5 song I ever heard, and oddly enough the photo for the album’s cover was shot a few blocks away from where I lived at the time. This smooth jam featured a brilliant sample from the outro track to foul-mouthed Blowfly’s 1973 record The Weird World of Blowfly. A great find by record junkie Cut Chemist. Damn I wish these brothers were still making music together…

Bobby Caldwell – “Open Your Eyes”
Sampled for: Common – “The Light”

Produced by J Dilla (then known as Jay Dee), “The Light” received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance and shoulda won (sorry, Em). Dedicated to the ladies, “The Light” helped to bring Common a legion of new female fans and usurp Cool J’s LL crown. You’ve gotta love what Dilla did with this Caldwell classic: submerged instruments and vocals with Jay’s own drums stapled on top. Smooth.

Charlie Whitehead – “Shaft’s Mama”
Sampled for: Reflection Eternal – “Move Somethin’”

There’s plenty of lovely soul material to be sampled on the first two minutes of this Charlie Whitehead cut, but Hi-Tek insisted on waiting ‘til the 2:06 mark for something a little more sinister. Speeding up the loop and throwing on some menacing drum kicks, Tekzilla’s vision materialized as the ear-popping kick-start to Reflection Eternal’s first and hopefully not last album. Nudge, nudge…

David McCallum – “The Edge”
Sampled for: Dr. Dre – “The Next Episode (featuring Snoop Dogg, Kurupt & Nate Dogg)”

Why is this song here if 2001 came out in 1999? Well, “The Next Episode” dropped as a single in 2000, so that’s why! Most people go crazy over the ominous horns that commence on McCallum’s “The Edge”, but I get a kick out of those sparse pluckings that find their way in between this cacophony of brilliance which seemed to be prepackaged for future hip hop producers to take full advantage of in later years. And why shouldn’t it be the good doctor?

Dido – “Thank You”
Sampled for: Eminem – “Stan”

This song was major. First and foremost, the radio version of this track was over five minutes. That’s huge considering the fact that most of the songs of the day – or today – were no more than four minutes in length. But the subject matter and lyrical content was light-years beyond anything else playing. In the midst of playlists where Mystikal wanted you to shake ya ass, No Doubt wanted you take a dip in the bath with them, Jay-Z wanted you to give it 2 him and *NSYNC were bye-bye-bye-ing away, Eminem was telling the story of a psychotic fan whose obsession pushed him to drive off a bridge with his pregnant girlfriend. And “Stan” got more play than all those aforementioned tracks! And he performed the song at the Grammy’s. With Elton John! It kind of sucks that Dido’s beautiful song rests in the shadow of “Stan”, but hey, that’s how it goes…

Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band – “Cherchez La Femme”
Sampled for: Ghostface Killah – “Cherchez LaGhost (featuring U-God)”

There were actually two samples on this Supreme Clientele single, but this Savannah Band sample is more likely to ring a bell for you. Producer Carlos Bess stripped things down to create a light soundscape for Ghost and Huey to bust their lighthearted raps.

Eddie Holman – “It’s Over”
Sampled for: Ghostface Killah – “Nutmeg (featuring RZA)”

Another Supreme Clientele cut, “Nutmeg” demonstrates RZA’s loopy production style, loopy in more ways than one. What other producer would have thought of this? No one I can think of... other than The Abbot!

Edwin Starr & Blinky – “Sweet Joy of Life”
Sampled for: The Lox – “Recognize”

This sample was not easy to come by, but I’m so glad I found it. DJ Premier is a master of chopping and partitioning instrumentation and he does just that with subtle snippets from this overlooked gem from Just We Two. “Recognize” wasn’t released as a single, but it should have been as it was my favorite track off of We Are the Streets.

Foreigner – “Cold as Ice”
Sampled for: M.O.P. – “Cold as Ice”

So here was Fizzy Wo’s plan: take a classic rock jam and inject it with some mash out madness. You better believe he hit the nail on the head. Few songs match the gulliness factor of “Cold as Ice”. Just blast this out your window anytime you want to frighten the shit out of your neighbors.

Foreigner – “I Want to Know What Love Is”
Sampled for: Memphis Bleek – “In My Life”

Another Foreigner track? I know. I’m sorry. This track might not be a great fit since 90% of you have never heard this Memphis Bleek track. A lot of folks clown on Malik, but I feel it’s generally undeserved. Go back and listen to “In My Life” and tell me you don’t catch a head bopping vibe. Produced by Just Blaze, this introspective track closed out Bleek’s sophomore record The Understanding. Shocker: Bleek’s discography rests securely in my iPod. Sorry, haters.

Francois De Roubaix – “Dernier Domicile Connu”
Sampled for: Lil’ Bow Wow – “Bow Wow (That's My Name) (featuring Snoop Dogg)”

Blast from the past, right? I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say “all that and a bag of chips” back in 2000. It’d probably amount to no more than a meager four dollars, but that’s still more than it should be for such a bizarre saying. Jermaine Dupri scooped up this sinister string sample from who knows where. The funny thing about “That’s My Name” is that aside from Bow Wow’s age, it doesn’t sound dated (to me at least). And it’s definitely better than anything else that Bow Wizzy’s dropped ever since. And now that I think about it, the music video for this track predated the scourge and trend of teachers who have sex with their students. Maybe “Bow Wow (That’s My Name)” started it all?

Grace Jones – “Nightclubbing”
Sampled for: Shyne – “Bad Boyz (featuring Barrington Levy)”

It’s a shame that this is Shyne’s most recognized track due to his absence from the music scene for a decade. Everything about this track screams classic, especially Barrington Levy’s diddly-widdlying. Pause.

Graham Nash – “Chicago”
Sampled for: Beanie Sigel – “The Truth”

This should’ve been Sigel’s first single for The Truth. Instead, Jay-Z decided to release his own “Anything” instead. Ain’t that some nonsensical shit? Whatever… “The Truth” marked the days when Kanye West made music that wasn’t consumed by teeny-boppers. And boy are they long gone…

Harald Kloser – “Downloading”
Sampled for: Jedi Mind Tricks – “Genghis Khan (featuring Tragedy Khadafi)”

Wait until just over the 3:00 mark for the zany loops that bears a great resemblance to the sample used on “4 Da Fam” (also included in this compilation). If this joint isn’t evidence enough to the fact that Stoupe is an underrated producer and digger, then I don’t know what else is.

Hossam Ramzy – “Khusara Khusara”
Sampled for: Jay-Z – “Big Pimpin’ (featuring UGK)”

“Big Pimpin’” is a brilliant and important song for many reasons. First, it opened up a new fan base for Jay-Z in the south. More importantly perhaps, it brought UGK to a wider audience. But even more importantly than all that, it introduced Timbaland’s ridiculous and unmatched style to the radio. Ivan trivia: “Big Pimpin’” was my first non-generic ring tone. Good times…

Jack Mayborn – “Music People”
Sampled for: Prodigy – “Keep It Thoro”

I can’t tell which is more affective, the keys or the horns. I dare you to find a Jack Mayborn song not titled “Music People” on the internet. You can’t do it! Alchemist single-handedly resurrected this mystery music man to sample heads worldwide. My question is how in the hell did Alc find this gem to begin with!

James Brown – “Make It Funky, Part 1”
Sampled for: Slum Village – “I Don’t Know (featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff)”

This isn’t the only sample on “I Don’t Know”. Heck, it isn’t even the only James Brown sample on the track. But I think James Brown’s brief “I don’t know” quotable supersedes all other samples on this Dilla-produced Slum classic.

Jim Gilstrap – “Move Me”
Sampled for: Big L – “Flamboyant”

From the grave, Big L demanded that his “production be tight”. Well, his wish was certainly granted on this gem of a track. This was the first Big L song I ever heard, released on a posthumous album that dropped on my thirteenth birthday. This track was playing over a highlight reel of some of Allen Iverson’s greatest moves. That being said, I’ll always associate this beat with ill crossovers and layups.

Jimmie & Vella Cameron – “Hey Boy Over There”
Sampled for: Capone-N-Noreaga – “Invincible”

Speaking of hoops, I also first heard “Invincible” on a basketball video, the third volume of the And1 Mixtape series, to be exact. DJ Premier’s brilliance definitely outshined everything else on The Reunion, though I’m still impartial to L.E.S.’ “B EZ” with Nas.

Lee Dorsey – “The Greatest Love”
Sampled for: De La Soul – “Oooh. (featuring Redman)”

I nearly flipped out when I first heard Redman and De La mentioned in the same sentence. This track works well on so many levels; the music video, however, not so much. It’s amazing how a gospel soul record can be twisted into a hype club track.

Leon Haywood – “I Wan'ta Do Something Freaky to You”
Sampled for: 50 Cent – “Corner Bodega”

Infamously sampled by Dr. Dre on “Nuthin' But A "G" Thang”, old school Fiddy tried his luck with this soulful jam and made it work on the East coast tip. Composed as a hustler’s anthem of sorts, “Corner Bodega” was overshadowed by Power of the Dollar classics like “How to Rob”, “Your Life’s on the Line” and the infamous “Ghetto Qu’ran (Forgive Me)” – all of which were prepped as street singles in ’99.

Marvin Gaye – “Is That Enough”
Sampled for: Three 6 Mafia – “Sippin’ on Some Syrup (featuring UGK & Project Pat)”

Produced, composed and written by Marvin Gaye, the intro to Here, My Dear’s “Is That Enough” was destined to be sampled one day. Who’da thought it’d be flipped into a southern homage to cough syrup and codeine?

Raymond Lefevre & His Orchestra – “The Days of Pearly Spencer”
Sampled for: Black Rob – “Whoa!”

This string-driven record was picked up by producer extraordinaire Buckwild and supplied as the backdrop for Black Rob’s most recognized track. A true gem of a sample.

Roy Budd – “Fear is the Key (Main Theme)”
Sampled for: Amil – “4 Da Fam (featuring Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel & Jay-Z)”

Remember when the Roc was more like a boulder? Produced by Ty Fyffe, “4 Da Fam” was one of those tracks that kept the crew bubbling in the streets while they were bursting wallets and topping the charts.

Sam & Dave – “Soul Sister, Brown Sugar”
Sampled for: M.O.P. – “Ante Up (Robbin Hoodz Theory)”

Producer DR Period came up in the game producing for M.O.P. on their debut album To the Death, including the classic “How About Some Hardcore”. But he didn’t stop just there! Six years later, DR gifted the Posse with their biggest song ever, “Ante Up”. Yap that fool!

Santana – “Maria Maria (featuring The Product G&B)”
Sampled for: Destiny’s Child – “Independent Women, Part 1”

This may or not be considered a sample. Either way, it’s definitely a full-time jack move.

Solomon Burke – “Cool Breeze”
Sampled for: Ghostface Killah – “Apollo Kids (featuring Raekwon)”

Boasting the Ghost quotable “since the face been revealed, game got real” , “Apollo Kids” was the first GFK single since 1996’s “All That I Got Is You”. Ghost made up for lost time by dropping Supreme Clientele, easily one of the year’s – and decade’s – greatest rap records.

Stereolab – “Come and Play in the Milky Night”
Sampled for: Busta Rhymes – “Show Me What You Got”

Known for his smooth, soulful beats, Dilla seldom sampled rock records – contemporary alt. rock much less – but boy did he know how to pick ‘em: “Show Me What You Got” is as smooth as can be.

Steve Miller Band – “Space Intro”
Sampled for: Slum Village – “Climax (Girl Shit)”

Yup, more Dilla! “Climax” features more than one sample, but it’s this Steve Miller track that’s most striking, for me at least. This wasn’t the only time that Dilla played around with “Space Intro” as he often injected this trippy track into many of his songs. But its emergence in the chorus section for “Climax (Girl Shit)” is one of the most notable. Detroit heir Black Milk would go on to follow the same tactic on “Sound the Alarm”.

Stu Phillips – “Theme from Knight Rider”
Sampled for: Lil’ Kim – “How Many Licks? (featuring Sisqo)”

The Knight Rider theme has been sampled many, many times, but only Kim’s raunchy raps could match appropriately, with quips like “grab your meat while I ride the beat”.

Ten Wheel Drive & Genya Ravan – “Ain’t Gonna Happen”
Sampled for: Jay-Z – “1-900-Hustler (featuring Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek & Freeway)”

Back in the good ol’ days of the Roc, if it wasn’t Just Blaze, it was Bink! “1-900-Hustler” introduced us to the rapid-fire raps of Philly emcee Freeway. You could also say it established or at least helped to popularize the pending trend of sped up, chipmunk vocals that were evident on Jay’s next record, The Blueprint, as well as the Roc’s own Dipset movement that was awaiting to flock.

The Delfonics – “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide from Love)”
Sampled for: Three 6 Mafia – “Who Run It”

Released as the first single off of When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixy 1 (hands-down the greatest Three 6 album), “Who Run It” boasts an amazing string sample from the soulful Delfonics. That was then. Now Three 6 Mafia has the same number of Oscars as Martin Scorsese and they’re working with DJ Tiesto. What the fluck has the world come to?

The Intruders – “Memories Are Here to Stay”
Sampled for: Common – “The 6th Sense (featuring Bilal)”

Kudos to Premo for this lovely find! Clicking on all gears with this amazing track, it makes you wonder why Common and DJ Premier haven’t collaborated ever since (no, “The Game” doesn’t count). Wouldn’t a Premo-produced Comm’ record be a masterpiece to behold? I can dream, right?

The Police – “Roxanne”
Sampled for: Cam’ron – “What Means the World to You (featuring Keema)”

Keeping in mind that this track dropped a couple of years before Cam blew up with Roc-A-Fella, this high-profile sample clearance (shouts to Andy Summers on the axe) must’ve captured some ears from outside of the rap world.

William Sheller – “Intoit”
Sampled for: Deltron 3030 – “3030”

On this principal track from the trip hop classic collab Deltron 3030, Dan the Automator’s otherworldly sample selection constructed the perfect backdrop for Del’s futuristic raps.