Dilla is LOVE

Last week a listener asked me to explore some J Dilla beats on the SEVEN O CLOCK SAMPLE, so I said…

Ok, let’s TURN IT UP!

DIlla passed away in 2006, after a long battle with Lupus.  Many knew Jay Dee was sick, but few saw his death coming.

When he passed, the Hip Hop world came to a halt.  Folks from every corner of the globe stopped to pay tribute to the genres most influential, and under credited producer.  Still to this day, J Dilla tribute mixtapes, albums, shirts and images pop up on the regular.

In addition to his work with Slum Village and The Soulquarians, Dilla produced some of my favorite Hip Hop tracks. In 2004, he worked with fellow Solquarian COMMON, on his Kanye West produced come back album BE.  Common’s previous album Electric Circus, which also featured Dilla, was a commercial flop.  Common was ready to start again, he left MCA and released a new and fresh sounding album on Kanye’s GOOD MUSIC label.  J Dilla was the only producer, besides Kanye, to contribute a beat on this album, and I must say, it’s one of the best….

This beautiful beat can be found on one of Dillas mid 2000s beat tapes, which became known in the industry as donuts.

Here is what the beat sounded like before Common got it…

The sample that Dilla dug up for this track is a Marvin Gaye 45, that was released in 1970 on Tamla.

(listen closely at 1:19 )

MARVIN GAYE and J DILLA… A match made in heaven.

R.I.P Fellas.


Get By Sinnerman

This week we are exploring samples used by Mr. Kanye West.

Yep.. That dude!

In 2002, Kanye was at ( in my opinion ) his production peak.  He was working with most of my favorite rappers of the early 2000s, including the prolific and talented Talib Kweli.  Talib and Kanye crafted this masterpiece for Talib’s Rawkus release QUALITY.

Kanye picked up this funky break and amazing vocal from the soulful Ms. NINA SIMONE.  In 1965, she released her album PASTEL BLUES, which featured this amazing song…

Check out the break down at 8:30….

Common takes the witness stand.

This week on the Seven O Clock Sample, I’ve decided to open Pandora’s box, and explore the music samples of Kanye West.
There is no doubt that Kanye has lost his mind over the past few years,

…but his production quality has remained stellar!

In 2005, Common called on Mr. West to bring the soul back for his BE album. With the exception of the late great Dilla, this album featured all of it’s production from Kanye.
This track used a particularly cool “flip” of it’s sample source…

That was a big hit for Common, it’s was a rather obscure single for it’s original performers.
In 1972, three soulful sisters by the name HONEY CONE, released their last album on Hot Wax records called Love, Peace & Soul. The record featured this track…

VMA Disgrace?

Is John Legend “Lost For Words”?

This morning’s seven o clock sample has brought me back to one of my favorite “surprise sampler” John Legend. Legend’s “Once Again” album teams the R&B crooner with such great producers as, Will.I.Am, Raphael Saadiq, Craig Street, Sa-Ra and Kanye West. West offered up a fantastic sample for the 12th track on Legend’s platinum project, entitled ” Another Again”.

As much as it may sound that this track was completely composed in the studio, Kanye actually grabbed up a nice little soul loop for the track, from THE MIDNIGHT MOVERS UNLTD.’s album Follow The Wind.

Here is some bonus footage of the Midnight Movers in the late 60s, with their version of SOUL MAN!

Summerfest Journal: Interview, Malik Yusef

Malik Yusef

As some of you know Lupe Fiasco is performing tonight at the Miller Oasis Stage at 10pm at Summerfest.  However, at 8pm a multi-talented artist also from Chicago is performing.  His name is Malik Yusef.  He is a spoken word artist, MC, and actor.   He has been featured on Def Poetry Jam and played a role in the movie Love Jones.

Malik was raised in Chicago’s South Side neighborhood known as the “Wild 100’s” and is a former member of the widespread Islamic street gang The Blackstone Rangers. In his youth he became friendly with rapper Common Sense who was a member of the Four Corner Hustlers organization at the time. He was self-diagnosed with Dyslexia as a teenager but overcame his learning disability and word-impairment, earning himself a place among the urban intelligentsia. He has evolved over the years from a street hustler into a street poet. His name translates to “ruler” in Arabic.

I got a chance to talk to Malik before his show tonight at Summerfest about his new album on Kanye West’s label G.O.O.D. Music, about his turbulent past, his spoken word and more.  Check out and download the full un-edited interview with Malik Yusef and check out his latest song Magic Man featuring Kanye West and Common which is about domestic abuse.

Malik Yusef Interview (download)

Malik Yusef – “Magic Man featuring Kanye West and Common”

Malik Yusef performing his spoken word piece “I Spit” on Def Poetry Jam

808s and Nina Simone BREAKS!

Today’s 7 o clock sample is from one of my least favorite albums of 2008. LOL!
Kanye’s 808s and Heartbreaks didn’t do much for me. Sarah F and I had numerous conversations about this album. It wasn’t that the album was bad, it just wasn’t my flavor. Anyways, as usual Kanye sampled some real magic on this project. Check out “Bad News”

The use of the TR-808 drum machine is evident, as well as some juicy synths; but where is that drum loop from?!?
Well it’s a little touch of soul, from Ms. Nina Simone. The the track from her 2nd LP Broadway-Blues-Ballads it’s the intro for ” See Line Woman” & it’s your 7 o clock sample!
Check out some of these remixes….

And here is an awesome version by Feist!