Friday, September 7, 2012

Samplify: Nas - Life Is Good

EDIT (9/15/12): Aw, f*ck it!

Aight, so I've been mulling over this post and the comments it's received (thank you!) for the past few days and I think I've come up with a solution that will please (almost) everybody: a new feature for the site called Samplify. Samplify is a portmanteau I came up with using the following words: 1) Sample, 2) simplify, and 3) Spotify.

First off, I'm never gonna stop covering samples on this site. I write about what interests me. My posts may be sporadic, but that's just who I am. Bottom line: You'll never see me posting something I don't care about. Searching for old(er) songs that are sampled in the music of today has been an interest of mine since I was in elementary school. That's never going away. Second, simplicity is something I strive for. I'm no feng shui expert but I do prefer minimalism when possible. With my Samplify posts, I aim to keep things as simple as my sample set downloads were. Which leads me to my third and final point...

A lot of internet services come and go, never to be seen again. For my money, Spotify is here to stay. That's why I'll be relying on Spotify's services from now on. I think it's a smart choice. Samplify will be a series of Spotify playlists, each one devoted to the samples and production of a specific album. To kick-start this project, I chose to dissect Nas's latest album, Life Is Good. As I was putting this playlist together, I hit a bump in the road: many of the tracks sampled on Life Is Good are unavailable on Spotify, despite the service's massive music library. I breathed a deep sigh of regret when I noticed that a handful of these tracks just weren't available. There's not much I can do about that other than provide YouTube links when this issue arises. Assuming I got a few suggestions that YouTube was the way to go altogether, I don't feel too bad about relying on the video site as a resource when Spotify needs "backup." (In the tracklisting below, any links you see will direct you to the respective YouTube page. If a song on the tracklisting isn't an HTML link, that means you can find it in the Samplify playlist. Any italicized titles mean the songs are unavailable on Spotify or on YouTube. That shouldn't happen quite as often.)

An added benefit to Samplify is that modifying playlists on Spotify is super-easy for me to do. So let's say you find a sample that I missed: you can mention that in the comments section and I'll be able to update the playlist within minutes (assuming I'm not busy...). It's much simpler than the hassle of having to re-upload sample sets to accommodate one or two tracks I missed on the first go-round. (That was a real pain in the ass...) So what do you think? I'm still open to feedback, so if you've got suggestions on how to improve this new series, want me to scrap the project altogether, or simply want to hate on my 2013 World Champion Los Angeles Lakers (Ha!), feel free to do so in the comments section. Otherwise, enjoy the music... and turn it up!!

Samplify: Nas - Life Is Good
  1. Kirk Franklin - Don't Cry ['No Introduction']
  2. Salaam Remi - Queens Story ['A Queens Story']
  3. Frédéric Chopin - Étude Op. 10, No. 12 ['A Queens Story']
  4. Run-D.M.C. - Peter Piper ['A Queens Story']
  5. Norman Feels - They Said It Couldn't Be Done ['Accident Murderers']
  6. MC Shan - The Bridge ['Accident Murderers']
  7. Wayne McGhie & the Sounds of Joy - Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye ['Daughters']
  8. Cloud One - Dust to Dust ['Daughters']
  9. Hot Day with Super Kids - Hot Day Master Mix ['Reach Out']
  10. Isaac Hayes - Ike's Mood ['Reach Out']
  11. New Edition - Once in a Lifetime Groove ['Reach Out']
  12. The Five Stairsteps - Something's Missing ['World's an Addiction']
  13. Miles Jaye - Let's Start Over ['You Wouldn't Understand']
  14. Eric B. & Rakim - Eric B. Is President ['You Wouldn't Understand']
  15. MC Shan - The Bridge ['Back When']
  16. Barrie Moore Combo - Double Agent Jones ['Back When']
  17. MC Shan - Live Routine ['Back When']
  18. Ronnie Gee - Raptivity ['Back When']
  19. Super Cat - Dance Inna New York ['The Don']
  20. L.A. Carnival - Seven Steps to Nowhere ['Stay']
  21. Guy - Goodbye Love ['Bye Baby']
  22. Salaam Remi - Praguenosis ['The Black Bond']
  23. William Ray - You Are What You Are ['Where's the Love']
  24. 3rd Bass - Brooklyn Queens ['Where's the Love']