Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Oh my God, that's the funky shit!": Five hours of badass sample flips

NCIS meets N.W.A.
David McCallum and Dre, brought together through the magic of both Photoshop and a Wacom pen tablet
Dr. Dre is reportedly executive-producing a scripted TV series for FX about the connections between L.A. organized crime and the music industry. My reaction to that bit of news is "So when's Detox coming out?"

While we wait for an album that's never going to drop, I want to revisit one of Dre's greatest sample flips, off his last official album, 1999's 2001. "The Next Episode" kicks off "Kids Come Running for the Rich Taste of Samples," a five-hour playlist of my favorite sample flips. I've juxtaposed dozens of bangers with the tunes they sampled. So "The Next Episode" is followed by the piece it sampled, "The Edge," a cinematic-sounding 1966 David Axelrod instrumental performed by David McCallum, back when he was both Illya Kuryakin and a Capitol recording artist on the side (instead of trying to become a pop singer like Crockett or Tubbs, instrumental pop was McCallum's bag).

Henry Mancini's encounter with the Wu-Tang Clan would have been a helluva lot less awkward than the time Hank Kingsley tried to bond with them on The Larry Sanders Show.
Likewise with Ghostface and Henry Mancini
In some cases, I've grouped a frequently sampled work with two or three of its "descendants." I've also taken a Frankenstein's monster of a track like Redman's "Tonight's Da Night" and juxtaposed it with the tunes it was formed from (in "Tonight's Da Night"'s case, Isaac Hayes' "A Few More Kisses to Go" and the Mary Jane Girls' "All Night Long").

I always enjoy playing Spot the Sample, a game that's become much easier now thanks to a site like WhoSampled or ego trip's "Sample Flips" series of interviews where beatmakers talk at length about their favorite moments of sample wizardry by other beatsmiths. A whole section of this playlist is devoted to the work of the late J Dilla, whose way with hooks (for instance, I was never aware that he chopped up Rick James' "Give It to Me Baby" on Common's "Dooinit" until Questlove pointed it out recently on Hot 97) has been frequently spoken of with awe by the interviewees during the ego trip series.

Several of the sample sources on this playlist are movie themes (the Curtis Mayfield-produced themes from Let's Do It Again and Claudine) or re-recordings of movie themes (John Dankworth's cover of his own Modesty Blaise theme). DOOM's use of a lesser-known Henry Mancini piece (the Thief Who Came to Dinner theme) for a Ghostface Killah joint he produced was a particularly inspired choice and is, of course, part of the playlist.

If FX greenlights Dre's project, will it tank like John Ridley's UPN show Platinum, the last attempt to make a serialized drama set in the rap world (not counting The L.A. Complex)? Fake hip-hop has rarely sounded convincing on these crime shows. The Law & Order franchise does an especially terrible job coming up with fake rap or rock acts whenever an episode involves the music industry. Law & Order writers' ideas of what's popular in music are always hilariously seven or eight years behind present-day sounds, like in Criminal Intent's 2007 "Flipped" episode with Fab 5 Freddy as murdered rapper Fulla T or "Discord," the Briscoe/Logan-era mothership episode that guest-starred Fringe's Sebastian Roché as a rapey hair band idol known as C Square, whose late '80s-ish, Warrant-style sound would have barely sold any CDs in the era of grunge, which was when "Discord" first aired. The involvement of Dre on one of these shows (even if it's just as an EP and not as a showrunner) could change all that.

Take it away, Dre.

Complete tracklist after the jump...

"Kids Come Running for the Great Taste of Samples" tracklist
1. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, "The Next Episode" (sampled "The Edge" by David McCallum)
2. David McCallum, "The Edge"
3. Nas, "The Don" (sampled "Dance Inna New York" by Super Cat)
4. Super Cat, "Dance Inna New York"
5. Beastie Boys, "Root Down" (sampled "Root Down and Get It" by Jimmy Smith)
6. Jimmy Smith, "Root Down and Get It"
7. Luscious Jackson, "Citysong" (sampled "On and On" by Gladys Knight & the Pips)
8. Gladys Knight & the Pips, "On and On"
9. Kanye West featuring Lupe Fiasco, "Touch the Sky" (sampled "Move On Up" by Curtis Mayfield)
10. Curtis Mayfield, "Move On Up"
11. Jay-Z, "Takeover" (sampled "Five to One" by The Doors)
12. The Doors, "Five to One"
13. Jay-Z, "Soon You'll Understand" (sampled "Love Theme from The Landlord" by Al Kooper)
14. Al Kooper, "Love Theme from The Landlord"
15. Jay-Z, "Show Me What You Got" (sampled "Shaft in Africa (Addis)" by Johnny Pate)
16. Johnny Pate, "Shaft in Africa (Addis)"
17. Jay-Z, "Roc Boys (And the Winner Is)" (sampled "Make the Road by Walking" by Menahan Street Band)
18. Menahan Street Band, "Make the Road by Walking"
19. Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z, "Upgrade U" (sampled "Girls Can't Do What the Guys Do" by Betty Wright)
20. Betty Wright, "Girls Can't Do What the Guys Do"
21. Gorillaz, "Rock the House" (sampled "Theme from Modesty Blaise" by John Dankworth & His Orchestra)
22. John Dankworth & His Orchestra, "Theme from Modesty Blaise"
23. Ghostface Killah, "Alex (Stolen Script)" (sampled "Theme from The Thief Who Came to Dinner" by Henry Mancini & His Orchestra)
24. Henry Mancini & His Orchestra, "Theme from The Thief Who Came to Dinner"
25. MF DOOM featuring DJ Cucumber Slice, "Rhymes Like Dimes" (sampled "One Hundred Ways" by Quincy Jones featuring James Ingram & Greg Phillinganes)
26. Quincy Jones featuring James Ingram & Greg Phillinganes, "One Hundred Ways"
27. Mos Def, "Casa Bey" (sampled "Casa Forte" by Banda Black Rio)
28. Banda Black Rio, "Casa Forte"
29. A Tribe Called Quest, "Footprints" (sampled "Think Twice" by Donald Byrd)
30. Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, "Let the Beat Hit 'Em" (also sampled "Think Twice" by Donald Byrd)
31. Main Source, "Looking at the Front Door" (also sampled "Think Twice" by Donald Byrd)
32. Donald Byrd, "Think Twice"
33. Souls of Mischief, "93 'Til Infinity" (sampled "Heather" by Billy Cobham)
34. Billy Cobham, "Heather"
35. Black Sheep, "Without a Doubt (Salaam's Mix)" (sampled "The Highways of My Life" by The Isley Brothers)
36. The Isley Brothers, "The Highways of My Life"
37. Poor Righteous Teachers, "Holy Intellect" (sampled "Devotion (Live)" by Earth, Wind & Fire
38. Earth, Wind & Fire, "Devotion (Live)"
39. Mobb Deep, "Shook Ones Part II" (sampled "Jessica" by Herbie Hancock)
40. Herbie Hancock, "Jessica"
41. Big Daddy Kane, "Ain't No Half-Steppin'" (sampled "Blind Alley" by The Emotions)
42. AMG, "Jiggable Pie" (sampled "Blind Alley" by The Emotions)
43. The Emotions, "Blind Alley"
44. WC and the Maad Circle, "West Up!" (sampled "Reach for It" by George Duke)
45. George Duke, "Reach for It"
46. Heavy D & the Boyz, "Don't Curse" (sampled "Hip Hug-Her" by Booker T. & the MG's)
47. Booker T. & the MG's, "Hip Hug-Her"
48. Heavy D & the Boyz, "Peaceful Journey" (sampled "This Place Hotel" by The Jacksons)
49. Q-Tip featuring Raphael Saadiq, "WeFight/WeLove" (also sampled "This Place Hotel" by The Jacksons)
50. The Jacksons, "This Place Hotel"
51. J Dilla, "Time: The Donut of the Heart" (sampled "All I Do Is Think of You" by The Jackson 5)
52. The Jackson 5, "All I Do Is Think of You"
53. Common, "The Light" (sampled "Open Your Eyes" by Bobby Caldwell)
54. Bobby Caldwell, "Open Your Eyes"
55. Common, "Dooinit" (sampled "Give It to Me Baby" by Rick James)
56. Rick James, "Give It to Me Baby"
57. De La Soul featuring Yummy, "Much More" (sampled "Love Ballad" by L.T.D.)
58. L.T.D., "Love Ballad"
59. De La Soul featuring MF DOOM, "Rock Co.Kane Flow" (sampled "Deliverance" by Space)
60. Space, "Deliverance"
61. Redman, "Tonight's Da Night" (sampled "A Few More Kisses to Go" by Isaac Hayes and "All Night Long" by Mary Jane Girls)
62. Isaac Hayes, "A Few More Kisses to Go"
63. Mary Jane Girls, "All Night Long"
64. Ice Cube, "It Was a Good Day (Remix)" (sampled "Let's Do It Again" by The Staple Singers)
65. Xscape, "Just Kickin' It (Remix)" (also sampled "Let's Do It Again" by The Staple Singers)
66. John Legend featuring Kanye West, "Number One" (also sampled "Let's Do It Again" by The Staple Singers)
67. The Staple Singers, "Let's Do It Again"
68. Ice Cube, "You Know How We Do It" (sampled "The Show Is Over" by Evelyn "Champagne" King)
69. Evelyn "Champagne" King, "The Show Is Over"

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