Hip-hop samples from unlikely places | EW.com
X

News

Hip-hop samples from unlikely places

Some classic rock gets reworked into some very different songs

Hip-hoppers have been raiding the vaults of funksters like James Brown since the birth of rap, but occasionally they make forays into other genres — like classic rock. The acoustic guitar on P.M. Dawn’s ”The Ways of the Wind,” for instance, was lifted from ”I Had a King,” a 1968 Joni Mitchell song. Here are some of the other unimaginable things rappers are doing with your old collections:

Warren G
*Rap Song: ”Regulate”
*Famous Sample: The keyboard from Michael McDonald’s ”I Keep Forgettin”’ (1982)
*Why? ”That was one of my favorite songs when I was little,” says Warren G. ”Then a year and a half ago, I went to a chicken joint in Hollywood and bought the record from a guy out front for $8 or $9. I got right on it.”
*Legal Stipulation: McDonald gets 50 percent of the single’s publishing royalties.

Boogie Down Productions
*Rap Song: ”Ya Slippin”’
*Famous Sample: The guitar riff from Deep Purple’s ”Smoke on the Water” (1972)
*Why? ”I’d never heard the song before,” admits rapper KRS-One, who credits the idea to his DJ, DJ Doc. After hearing the metal anthem, KRS agreed: ”I thought it was a phat guitar line.”
*Legal Stipulation: ”Everything I want to use, I just use,” says KRS-One. ”Either I try to get it cleared or get sued later. Rock artists should have no beef if we sample them, ‘cause they stole all our fathers’ s—.”

N2Deep
*Rap Song: ”What the F— Is Goin’ On?”
*Famous Sample: The bass line from Loggins & Messina’s ”Angry Eyes” (1972)
*Why? ”The bass was kinda phat, which is funny — I never expected to find anything good on a Loggins & Messina record,” says producer Johnny Z.
*Legal Stipulation: ”[Clearance] was around $2,500,” says Z. ”Kenny Loggins didn’t really want us to use it, since our record had cussin’, but he didn’t own all the rights, so we were able to use it.”