sampling, or more generally, use of other peoples musical creations for your own product has always been a part of hip hop culture and has always been grounds for debate about the artistic merit of certain genres. Nay-sayers will always hate on use of samples and use it as an argument to poo poo rap music, while those that know will always make the argument for it being tantamount to the evolution of music and a legitimate method of expression. But we’re not here to have that debate, as far as I’m concerned, Stetsasonic put that straight back in ’88 an anyway, more ‘traditional’ musical styles borrow from each other all the time but nobody gets upset about that.
What caught my attention however is this recent discovery. Basically, these days I have a handful of artists on constant rotation, they are EPMD, Rakim, Evidence, Devin the Dude and Yelawolf. And it is the latter two that make up the point of this post.
Devin sampled Rick James ‘Hollywood’ and really made it his own. Making use of only the initial couple bars before Rick took it on a drastic, coke fuelled, left turn, Devin showcases his singing skills as well as his rapping on this emotion led thumper.
On his awesome “trunk music’ mixtape, Yelawolf not only uses the sample but commits the supposed hip hop faux pas of using Devin’s own melody for the track “Love ain’t enough’. Now biting has never been honourable in hip hop, thing is Yela actually expands on Devin’s concept and makes it truly his own, arguably even making better. This track is by far Yela’s best lyrically, swapping the rapid fire flows for straight up, heart felt story telling that we can all relate to.
The jury’s out as to who’s track is better, props to Devin for the hook amd props to Yelawolf for lyrical content but remember neither, excellent track would be possible without the twisted genius of Rick James.
Devin the Dude – Anythang