If you love music samples like I do, I’ve got some gems for you right here
As I’m sure anyone that uses Spotify is aware, there is a weekly playlist generated just for you called Discover Weekly. I’ve had a lot of success with this feature week in week out and am seriously impressed with some of the music it digs out for me. This week was a particularly good week. I’m starting to feel like Discover Weekly really knows me and my music tastes, perhaps even more than some of my closest friends which is funny when you consider that it is wholly computer generated, spitting out music it thinks you’ll like based on algorithms and listening history. Nevertheless, I love it.
Now, we all know I’m a sucker for a sample. I love that moment when you’re listening to a song and you realise that you’ve heard an element of it before in another song. Something just clicks in your brain like putting a musical puzzle together. For me, that is one of the most satisfying feelings, especially when you know you’re right.
So this week my Discover Weekly playlist presented me with not one but four different original songs that had later been sampled in songs I loved. I wasn’t aware of the existence of these four songs before and so it was a magical moment when upon them for the first time, I could also hear other songs that I did know.
Let me quickly talk you through the originals that appeared on my Discover Weekly and the songs that they have been sampled in that I am more familiar with:
- Functions On The Low — Ruff Sqwad/XTC = Shutup — Stormzy
- This one really took me by surprise as I just assumed that the beat used by Stormzy in Shutup was an original made for him. How wrong I was. I’m slowly learning that you should never take a song at face value, assuming that all of it’s elements are entirely original. If you do a bit of digging, you’ll find that most songs use elements from other songs which keeps sample obsessives like myself very happy. The original by Ruff Sqwad/XTC is just an instrumental with no lyrics and was released in 2004, 11 years before Stormzy used it on his 2015 hit. Madness.
- Chic Cheer — CHIC = Faith Evans — Love Like This = Be Faithful — Fatman Scoop
- So this one got me even more excited because it’s part of a sample chain and is the very start of that chain too! Before I heard this song, I was aware of the link between the Faith Evans track and Fatman Scoop’s Be Faithful, but was blissfully unaware that Faith had sampled the riff from this 1978 CHIC track.
- I Only Have Eyes For You — The Flamingos = Zealots — The Fugees
- This one came on shuffle right after the CHIC track so you can only imagine how happy I was that two songs I’d never heard before, but recognised because of their use in samples were played back to back. It’s the distinctive ‘sha bop sha bop’ that gave it away for me as I instantly recognised it as a song from The Fugees album The Score. A quick search on whosampled.com confirmed this and gave me the name of the track I was thinking of — Zealots.
- The Bottle — Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson = Suede — Nxworries
- This one was slightly harder to work out but I knew from the opening 10 seconds that I’d heard that beat before somewhere. I was lazy this time and looked it up on whosampled.com instead of spending time trying to coax the answer out from the depths of my mind. Once I knew, the answer seemed so obvious and I was slightly annoyed at myself for not getting it straight away — but then again that’s always the case when you hear an answer that you knew but couldn’t remember at the time. It turns out that The Bottle was sampled in one of my favourite songs by Nxworries, an American hip hip duo made up of Anderson Paak (bae) and producer Knxwledge. I’ll let myself off for not working it out straight away as the beat has been slowed down substantially on Suede meaning that it doesn’t sound exactly the same as the original.
So there’s enough samples to keep you happy for one day. If you’re hungry for more I have made a playlist on Spotify of all of the best samples that I’ve come across so feel free to check it out and satisfy your inner music geek: search emmylou432 and follow the playlist ‘who sampled who?’.
Please feel free to share any samples you’ve come across with me as chances are they will make my day and make it onto the playlist.