Music sampling: Where does it stem from?

Ever listen to a song and hear remnants of another song in it, if the answer is yes, this blog post will take you through couple songs and their samples. Throughout hip hop sampling has always existed, I find it  shows how old music continues to live on in newer forms. Also, music sampling displays that true originality is not the root of creativity; take inventions for example every invention is made up of another invention, and the upgrade is what we call innovation. It makes songs relatable if they constantly connect and blend aspects of past and present, as music is all a relative experience in relation to time. Here are a few of my favourites songs old and new that contain samples, can you guess which ones?

Can’t get enough – J Cole

Recently I was with a friend she was testing if I knew J Cole’s ‘Can’t get enough’ from the sample she played me ‘Paulette’ by Balla Et Ses Balladins. After  wracking my brain I was only able to guess the first two lyrics or rather adlibs ‘Cold World’ of ‘Can’t get enough’. Not my best performance, but needless to say J Cole’s sample of ‘Paulette’ incorporates relaxed swing and traditional Guinean folklore music layered over a hip hop type beat. Magnifique


Tribe – Bas + J Cole

‘Tribe’  smoothly blends its sample song ‘Zum zum’ by Edu Lobo, a 60s Brazilian Bossa Nova singer and guitarist, which gives the song all round good vibes. Whether you’re chilling with friends or alone on a sunny day this song is generally uplifting and refreshing. Bas is another underrated hip hop artist; however this song coupled with his recent ‘Milky way’ album release could make him blow in the future.


Mask off – Future

When I found out that ‘Mask off’ samples ‘prison song’ by Tommy Butler, I was rather surprised that this trap tune was based on a soulful song. The sped up flute riff creates a totally different sound to the original. This mainstream club song has some serious musical layers to it, which Future  composes pretty well.


J Cole – Let Nas Down

Another J Cole track with a fire sample blend from Fela Kuti’s ‘Gentleman’, Cole has an uncanny skill of sampling from the worlds greatest pioneers in music, Fela being one of them. We hear the Nigerian singer, musician and activist proud saxophone solo in this track. Something about this song carries a sense of pride a common theme in the ‘Born Sinner’ album.


Affection – Jinsang

Affection is a super mellow chill hop tune that I listen to whilst studying and working, composed with jazz, house and hip hop beats. Jinsang samples beats from Big L’s ‘Put it on’, Big L’s flow and wordplay are next to none, a true hip hop legend RIP.


Thug cry – Rick Ross

When I first heard ‘Thug cry’ I was captivated by the hook, the smooth chill beat always puts me in a thoughtful mood, when I’m walking or on the bus this song provides a moment of mindfulness. Sampling Billy Cobham’s instrumental ‘Heather’  really is what sets the tone of ‘Thug Cry’, which carries a calm and cool vibe.


The need to know – Wale ft SZA

‘The need to know’ samples music soulchilds ‘just friends’ and also a skit from the TV show ‘This and That’, with SZA on the hook we get a female perspective on the friendzone/relationship line. Both the sample and this song are my favourites.


My Life – Mary J Blige

My life is another old school r&b classic, which blends the original Roy Ayers’ ‘Everybody Loves the Sunshine’ a feel good 70s funk soul anthem. Though Blige’s ‘My Life’ has a more reflective tone of overcoming personal struggle. Both songs are classics in their own right.


Lost ones – Lauryn Hill

‘Lost Ones’ displays Lauryn’s rap lyricism genius, spits truth, and provides education on the whole track. She lyrically incorporates the heavily sampled ‘Bam Bam’ by Sister Nancy a well-known reggae/dancehall anthem. The old school tune is a great motivator, one that aids strength of mind.



Comment your favourite sampled songs and where they are from, happy listeningstar-emoji

‘True artistry exists within other art forms’ CS


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