Grandmaster Flash and the Spectacular Samples

This week on 7 o clock sample, we are looking at hip hop pioneers GRANDMASTER FLASH and the FURIOUS FIVE.

In the late 1970s, the idea of recording Rap music was an odd concept.  Hip Hop culture developed from the “have-nots” of our society, so the high price of recording a track, was not an option.  Even when rap labels and managers came on the scene, the process of recording Hip Hop was not the same as the performance.

Take Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five for example.  Melle Mel, Kidd Creole, Cowboy, Mr. Ness/Scorpio, and Rahiem were the hype men for the DJ.  They acted as the link between the record the Flash was playing, and the dancers on the floor.  As the fellas began to develop “raps” over certain breaks, the Hip Hop SONGS were born.  These songs would be different every time you would see them performed, and often, they were not perfect.  A record could skip, or the loop may not completely come together, changing the dynamic of the song.

When SUGAR HILL RECORDS signed GMF and the FF, they were in the practice of recording Hip Hop tracks with live studio bands.   The early Hip Hop hits of the late 70s and early 80s were mostly recreated samples, played by studio musicians.

So while today’s example may not be a true SAMPLE, it stemmed from the records that Grandmaster Flash was sampling in the live shows.

Here is the original record that Flash would loop for at the break….

Funk jam!

Here is how the Sugar Hill band and the Furious Five recorded the track…


Synthetic Substitution; A Pretty Break

This week we are paying our respects to the late great Melvin Bliss, and his classic track SYNTHETIC SUBSTITUTION…

This track has been sampled for decades, by some of the best of the best in Hip Hop.  Check out Tuesday’s post for a more comprehensive list.  I’d be foolish to not give credit for the massive amounts of sampling this track has seen, to the tracks drummer.

Bernard “pretty” Purdie was the session drummer on this classic soul jam and his resume is nothing short of AMAZING!

Here as a short list of some of the albums he has appeared on.. James Brown – Cold Sweat (1967, King Curtis and his Kingpins – Instant Soul (1967), James Brown – Say It Loud-I’m Black & I’m Proud (1969), Aretha Franklin – Young, Gifted and Black (1972), BB King – Completely Well (1970), Robert Palmer’s Insect Trust – Hoboken Saturday Night (1970), Herbie Mann – Push, Push (1971), Miles Davis – Get Up with It (1972), BB King – Guess Who (1973), Cat Stevens – Foreigner (1973), Hall & Oates – Abandoned Luncheonette (1973), Jimmy McGriff – Come Together (1974), Joe Cocker – I Can Stand a Little Rain (1974), Cornell Dupree – Teasin’ (1975), Steely Dan – The Royal Scam (1976)… whoooo.

Bernard Purdie is one of popular music’s un-sung heroes. ( Don’t be surprised if I do a Bernard Purdie week very soon here. )

This break has continued to be sampled in the recent past, here are a few of my favorites…

Superman Break

This week on the 7 o’clock sample, we have been exploring movie and TV theme music…

There is a laundry list of TV themes that have been sampled by Rap and Electronic acts.  Some of my favorites include the Knight Rider Theme, Inspector Gadget, Theme From BattleStar Galatica, and even the Fat Albert Theme.  But it’s not that often that A TV show’s theme song has a sample in it.  However, I found an exception to that!

Do ya Ever watch SCRUBS?

Well that funky drum break is one of the most sampled drum breaks in soul music…

The Honey Drippers “Impeach The President” Break…



This week’s Seven O Clock sample is dedicated to some of the SUPER BREAKS!…

What’s a SUPER BREAK you ask?  It’s a classic drum break, that producers keep coming back to time and time again.

Today’s Classic Breaks is brought to us by  The Skull Snaps.

This classic break was recorded in 1973 on GSF records. While The Skull Snaps only recorded this one album on GSF, they had a great run when originally known as the Diplomats, they released numerous singles between 1963 and 1970 with some success.

Take a look at look at just SOME of the artists who’ve sampled this break…

and of course….

Jurassic and Ike

It’s been over a week since I last posted a 7 o Clock sample blog. With the fund drive last week, I wanted to go over some of the best sample examples we’ve seen over the past season, so I opted not to re-post those.
But it’s a new week, and time for some new samples.
In 1998, I got my first DJ mixer, and one of the first records I played on my new turntables, was Jurassic 5’s self titled debut LP.

This album changed the way I listened to hip hop. I had heard this approach to melody and cohesion in raps, in the early 80s with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, but never like this. I instantly became a J-5 fan.

Well as you can see from the intro of this video, NuMark and Cut Chemist are no strangers to a good soul record. They pulled out a funky break from a great Ike Turner album entitled A Black Man’s Soul.
While on tour in the late 60’s with the Ike and Tina revue, Ike would pull musicians into studios around the nation to record a few instrumental jams. One of these cuts featured the great Billy Preston on piano. This funky funky funky jam was later sampled by J-5 for the above track.
Here is Getting Nasty, by Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm.

7 0 clock Sample

Today’s Seven-o-clock sample was a suggestion of our very our Peter Adams….

Thanks Pete!

This track first hit my ears while skateboarding the mean street of Kenosha as a kid… This was a time when Hip Hop was not taking up very much of my music collection. I was uninspired and generally turned off to the Bone-Thug’s Master P rap that was so dominate at that time. My skater buddies all were into the Beastie Boys and I too was feeling the funk.

Later as an adult, I developed a DEEP love for jazz. I stumbled across this sample while living with the fellas in the Rusty Ps. We would all get together after work everyday and make music. When I first heard this sample I shouted… ” THAT’S GENIUS!”

(this vid’s got some extra flavor from the one and only Cut Chemist ) ENJOY!!!