I have heard “sample” used in many different ways in recent years so just to clear things up for this article: a sample is any song, or piece of a song, that a producer takes and turns into a new and different song. It is musical post-modernism and probably my favorite part of hip-hop. Samples are like a communal town bicycle program, in that multiple people can give them a spin. So here I will choose a song which has been sampled by more than one artist so as to decide who hit the sample best.
The Ecstasy of Gold - Ennio Marricone (1966)
Contenders: Blueprint 2-Jay Z, Land of the Gun-Immortal Technique, We Workin’-Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, My Buddy-G-Unit
“The Ecstasy of Gold” is from the spaghetti western movie “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” and is probably the second song you think of when you think western movie soundtrack. The obvious answer here is “Blueprint 2” because it is more famous than all the the other contenders combined, but I am going to break from the pack on this one. I am giving the win to “We Workin’” by Bone Thugs. This win can be attributed to the flow on the second verse, Jay Z’s version being too good and me not wanting this list to be chalk all the way through.
Chanson D'Un Jour D'Hiver - Cortex (1975)
Contenders: Mural-Lupe Fiasco, Loco-Mellowhype, Mary-Curren$y, Dead Presidents III-Logic, Beautiful-Young Jezzy (feat. The Game and Rick Ross)
We’ll be starting off with a very random song to be sampled, but if you are a fan of hip-hop this sample is burned into your memory. “Chanson D'Un Jour D'Hiver” is a song by jazz/funk group Cortex, and it has two iconic samples, the vocals (“Mary”) and the piano (“Loco”) but most of the songs use both. Like walking into rooms at frat houses you aren’t familiar with, if you listen past the iconic parts of this song you will be venturing into some pretty weird stuff. It goes full 1975 jazz/funk and everyone knows that was a crazy year for the genre. The winner here is Logic with “Dead Presidents III.” This win is in large part due to the song having the line, “If pro is opposite con, what’s the opposite of progress/ I love my country but that s**t a mess,” which blew my ninth-grade mind like nothing else.
UFO - ESG
Contenders: Party and Bull***t-The Notorious B.I.G, Return of the Mack-Mark Morrison, Geek Down-J Dilla, R.I.P-Prodigy and The Alchemist
This sample sounds like trash on its own, not even figuratively. The song sounds like if someone put a microphone up to a trash compactor filled with metal objects. It came as a pretty huge surprise to see the number of huge songs that sample the metal noise in “UFO.” This song has been sampled 481 times according to WhoSampled.com, which is bananas. The noise makes a very disorienting sound and seems to be a very 90s rap noise. It’s honestly impossible to give this a serious answer because this song has been sampled in so many songs I cannot possibly listen to them all. Here are a handful of the names that I haven’t listed above that have used this sample in a beat: DJ Shadow, NWA, Wu-Tang, Nine Inch Nails, Big L, Nas, Masta Ace and Public Enemy. That is just the tip of the iceberg but for this countdown I am going with “Party and Bull***t” because, out of the more recognizable songs, it uses the sample the most and it embodies the way the sample makes me feel, which is intoxicated.
Teddy Craven is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.