Staff Top 10
Top Ten Fake Hip-hop Tracks Using Nineties Rock And Indie Vocal Samples

there will always be trendsetters and trend followers in hip-hop. With the mid Noughties throwing up all manner of cross-pollinating regional styles, it was only a matter of time before some budding Kanye saw an opportunity in the previous decade’s music. 2006 saw producers beginning to turn their back on acceptable styles and begin to drill for oil in the fields of rock and indie from the fertile Nineties. From the under to the overground, this trend went through hip-hop like a Madras leaving few big name artists untouched. Here are ten of the most famous uses from its heyday in 2006-2007.

01. "He said doe...doe...doe" sample taken from Breeders' "Doe" (Pod)
"Doughed Out, Iced Up, On And Poppin,'" saw Lloyd Banks finally ditch his G-Unit crew (and taking to wearing big woollen gloves to cover his G-Unit tattoos on the back of his hands) and join Game over at his BlackWallStreet empire after months of speculation about 50 Cent’s increasing jealously at Banks' success. At the start of every verse the sample "He said Doe...Doe...Doe" is dropped with Banks' lazy drawl overlapping the last "Doe" with more lyrics about how rich he is and how girls like him and want to give him kisses and cuddles.

02. "We know there's no limit" sample taken from Ride's "Seagull" (Nowhere)
Riding a Young Buck crunk production (who famously moved to producing after his larynx was crushed in a jail fight) Master P set up a call and response club banger with lines like "who got Crunk up in this beyatch? / We know there's No Limit." Despite some initial success with earlier singles ("We In Da South", "South Is The Opposite Of North," and "No Limit From The South") he soon went back to musical obscurity and selling rims to his neighbours. The to and fro of this track and the constant repetition of the sample led to a full backlash against the recently returned King of the South and he retired for good in late 2006. His roadside museum for the No Limit empire stands as a warning to those who would try to revive shoegaze.

03. "Excuse me please!?" sample taken from Pixies' "I've Been Tired" (Come on Pilgrim)
A typical bouncy Busta track and the lead single from his first LP since he quit Aftermath after the label refused to fund another Flipmode 'Squidod' LP. Using Black's near falsetto cry of "Excuse Me Please!" as the whole chorus, stopping the music for those few vital seconds, Busta crams as many lines into the song as possible. The breakneck electronic Swizz Beats production speeds along sounding more like early acid than commercial hip-hop. The video featured Busta recreating the promo for "Bittersweet Symphony" in a crowded NY street lip-synching up various hip-hop honeys to give the chorus yelp as he bounded past them cartoon style. The refusal to allow the Pixies a small cameo in the promo led to a subliminal diss from the band on their brawl flavoured b-side "You Cock."

04. "Can't touch the bottom" sample taken from Pearl Jam's "Deep" (Ten)
Vedder's metaphor for the depth of some great emotion is twisted and (surprise surprise) sped up by Kanye West for his 'Respect the Pole Dancers' anthem entitled "Shake it Momma.” Featuring little more than a standard drum pattern, prodded bass line and competing rising and falling riffs from "Deep," Kayne asks for men not to touch the dancers. Spitting his typical forced rhymes ("I know y'all think these girls is only pretty vacant / But they be hitting aces like they're Henri Leconte"), West's bold move in sampling these po-faced rockers led to him kickstarting a Plaid / Burberry clothes line to coincide with his summer 2006 remix collection Failed Module Resit.

05. "Pose" sample taken from Soundgarden's "Jesus Christ Pose" (Badmotorfinger)
Jean Grae's transformation from indie rap hopeful to Lil Kim wannabe was a startlingly quick and unexpected transformation. Unable to crack the market from the outside, and receiving little more than occasional critical plaudits (which can't be cashed), she blinged her way into the mainstream with her xxx rated track "Pose." There isn't a single base stereotype or profanity that Grae didn't use in her thirst for exposure and sales, and her choice of such a high profile grunge anthem for sampling merely sealed her desperation for success. The double whammy of the diss track “Graezing the Greener Grass” by Common and Mos Def’s “Jean Genie” made her the laughing stock of the underground. Her album Grae Hairs can be found at a bargain bin near you.

06. “’You were born to fly my son’ I said: ‘Hey! I already know’" sample taken from Verve’s “All in the Mind” (A Storm in Heaven)
Cash Money’s Baby AKA Birdman was an awful MC on his debut in 2002 and he was still an awful MC in 2006 when he dropped his single “Fly.” Jazze Pha’s audacious and baffling move in stealing a line from post shoegazing outfit Verve (before the ‘The’ was added) was woven under a frenetic jazz / crunk hybrid. The exposure led to another The Verve reformation, which lasted all of nine days and a #295 Billboard single for Baby.

07. “Disarm you with a smile and cut you” sample taken from Smashing Pumpkins’ “Disarm” (Siamese Dream)
GZA and the Dust Brothers, who’d of thunk it? Using the same template as Paul’s Boutique, the Bros dropped random one line samples into and around GZA’s flow, now with even more added references to blades and tongues. Amongst the oddly commercial chopped-mashed-clipped samplemania tracks GZA spat decidedly aggressive rhymes. The Dust Brothers attempt to lighten his increasingly heavy and dictionary fuelled flow with evermore easy to swallow tunes on their album Bible Bash. Just before its release GZA fully distanced himself from the Wu—after RZA’s decision to replace the late ODB with Quentin Tarantino and his wig.

08. “Tell me that you love me! Ah, I know you don't mean it” sample taken from Morrissey’s “Tomorrow” (Your Arsenal)
After Eminem’s curtain dropping Encore in 2004 he retuned in mid 2006 with Restart—with his original hair colour and an LP consisting of skeletal G-funk Dre productions. No guest spots, no subliminals, and no irritating lead-off pop single. His ‘show me love’ LP opener “Mean It” took the Morrissey sample, coating it in ghostly reverb and once again called for fans to adore him (they did), buy more of his records (they did), give him his due respect again as one the greatest MCs (they did), and buy some D12 stuff while they were at it (not quite). He and Morrissey celebrated their collaboration with a series of split shows in Detroit and Los Angeles.

09. “Tricks are everything to me” sample taken from Pavement’s “Trigger Cut” (Slanted & Enchanted)
Nas’ attempts at playing the role of drug baron, teacher, pistol, prophet, and gangsta in his songs never really shot him into Hip-Hop’s overtly commercial arena, so his 2006 LP Nasty Pimp seemed to be his last attempt at securing a niche; as a Pimp. His “Tricks” anthem (Tricks meaning ‘a female who uses her sexuality to deceive and/or manipulate others’) revolved around the vocal sample of Stephen Malkmus and drove the point home over a pimply West Coast beat.

10. "I fell asleep and watched TV" sample taken from Nirvana's "Sliver" (Incesticide)
Another lonely heart barstool night with only Buck 65 for company. This tale of your typical trailer trash loner falling asleep at the bar and heading off on a dark head trip builds from the use (just pre-chorus) of the Nirvana sample. Due to sample clearance problems with the newly created Cobain Inc, the sample was bled of colour, hidden within the song. Barely audible on the re-recorded version, the sample feels almost ghostly within the bed of xylophone and Balamar; the original continues to be feted as Buck 65’s best work to date.

By: Scott McKeating
Published on: 2005-08-05
Comments (9)

Today on Stylus
October 31st, 2007
October 31st, 2007
Recently on Stylus
October 30th, 2007
October 29th, 2007
October 30th, 2007
October 29th, 2007
Recent Music Reviews
Recent Movie Reviews