News Article

The Sample Remains the Same

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.''

Originally posted Jun 24, 1994 Published in issue #228-229 Jun 24, 1994 Order article reprints