Just A Sample

24 February 2019

When it comes to music, I often live in my own little bubble. I keep an eye and ear out for what friends are doing, but away from that I don't tend to keep my finger on the pulse too much. Probably fair to say I keep one eye on the here and now rather than giving it my full focus. I tend to dig about music that I'm enjoying at any given moment.

One of the things I've really enjoyed doing over the years though, is to check liner notes etc for information on where samples are picked up from, and the Hip Hop scene has always been great for this, especially releases from the late 80's to mid/late 90's - the golden era of Hip Hop music for me. Of course, now we have websites that help us and apps that can identify tracks through hearing small snippets on our phones.

Just in case anyone should stumble across this post and not be familiar with the websites and tools I'm speaking of, I'll give a brief run down on a few that I find useful. If anyone has any additional suggestions, feel free to post the in the comment section below.

The obvious thing to say first is, cross reference is important. It's not unusual to look for an I.D for a track or sample, only to be given some duff info. The two most obvious places for I.D's are Discogs and Youtube. The comments on Youtube videos are a good source of info, if you can abide the rest of the rubbish often spouted in the comment section. Likewise, at the foot of each page on Discogs you often will find people providing I.D's for samples and edits and there are sub-forums dedicated to I.D's on the site too.

If you are looking for sample information there is one site that stands above them all - Who Sampled. It is a treasure trove and I've lost many an hour getting lost down a rabbit hole, and it's across all genres. There is even a great feature where you can jump exactly to the sample point within a song. The only thing I don't like about the site is the use of embedded Spotify players. I've nothing against Spotify, it has it's place, but the players only ever give me a short clip and it sometimes misses the sample point completely. When your search results are linked up to Youtube though, it works great.

The other tool I use quite often, although it doesn't always get it right, is the Soundhound app (on your phone). If I'm struggling to get an I.D of a track, I load up Soundhound, play the track, Soundhound listens and analyses it and gives you what it finds to be the closest match. I'm guessing here, but I imagine it'll be waveform analysis, similar to that used by Youtube and Soundcloud for rooting out copyright material.

Back to the original point of my post. I decided to put together a selection of tracks that have been used in Hip Hop tracks through the years. I had some fun digging for this one, so it might be something I revisit down the line. The selection I have put together are the original source tracks, in full. Click the player below, have a listen and see if you can I.D the Hip Hop tracks they feature in (some have been sampled in several tracks), try and do it without cheating. Most of the Hip Hop tracks are fairly well known. Below the tracklist you will find a Youtube player where I have compiled the Hip Hop tracks I had in mind, and you can check to see if you were right (assuming you've played along). A wee heads up though - some of the tracks in the Youtube playlist are NSFW, in particular track 6 which is very much for adult ears only.



01. Dizzy Gillespie & The Oscar Peterson Big Four - Chicken Wings
02. Smokey Robinson - Quiet Storm
03. Bob James - Nautilus
04. Stan Getz & Luiz Bonfá - Saudade Vem Correndo
05. Herbie Hancock - Watermelon Man
06. Brick - Fun
07. Otis Redding - Let Me Come On Home
08. Average White Band - School Boy Crush
09. Silver Convention - Fly, Robin, Fly
10. Jame Brown - The Boss
11. Koko Taylor - Wang Dang Doodle
12. Galt MacDermot - Space
13. Bill Withers - Make A Smile For Me
14. The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You
15. Ronnie Foster - Mystic Brew
16. Gary Burton - Las Vegas Tango

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