Before it was sampled

Every one loves a great origin story.

I collect some of mine in a playlist called “Before it was sampled.”

The premise is many of the popular samples in your favourite hip-hop song have a history.

For instance, producers for Eminem and Jay-Z both sampled Labi Siffre’s “I Got The …”

Jay-Z’s track is “Streets is Watching” from In My Lifetime Vol. 1.

And the sparse, trudging beat provides a sense of whimsy to Eminem’s “My Name Is.”

“I Got The…” is an odd track released in 1975. Two minutes into the song, the part that David Willis sampled for Jay-Z vanishes. That’s when the part that Dr. Dre sampled for Eminem appears.

Did you know that Labi Siffre is gay? That he refused to clear the sample for the track until Slim Shady removed some particular homophobic sections?

I bet you didn’t. Maybe because like me you had never heard of Labi Siffre.

And that’s the joy of “Before It Was Sampled.”

You get a history lesson and a new song to enjoy.

So enjoy some stories and songs.

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