Sampler Platter
January 26, 2010 10:57 AM   Subscribe

If you were a hip-hop producer, what song(s), artist(s), or sound(s) would you sample? I am having a lot of fun creating beats on my computer and am looking for some inspiration. I am already making full use of Pandora, Last.FM, Sample FAQ, WhoSampled, and FreeSound but am hoping for something a little more serendipitous. Answers could range from a complete 4 bar rip of a favorite song, sound effects from an obscure sci-fi movie, or the sounds heard in a Tokyo subway. This is about your aesthetic taste, not mine. Bass lines, explosions, laser guns, piano runs, orchestral movements, movie quotes, kick drums, laughing babies, bring it!. Answers do not include debates on sampling as music, copywriting, or Fair Use. Help this bedroom producer find the next killer sound.
posted by jasondigitized to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Reading Rainbow Theme Song FTW!
posted by kaizen at 11:07 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Four Brothers Beats was linked here a year or two ago. It's a cratedigger's MP3 blog that leans toward 70s soul, funk, and jazz. It's great for classic-style hip hop sampling. Go to the Comments for download details.
posted by echo target at 11:08 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

IANAHHP so I don't know if any of this will be helpful...

Is it considered bad form to do a meta-sample, i.e. sample something that's already been sampled? If not, then I'd recommend checking out either of the first two albums by the electronic artist Daedelus -- Invention or Of Snowdonia. Lots of random noises and quaint orchestral passages.

There's a great little composition called "Tabula Rasa" by the popular minimalist composer Arvo Part. Impassioned violins, sometimes unaccompanied.

For more straightforward orchestral parts, maybe try Hovhannes's "Mysterious Mountain" (Symphony No. 2).
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:09 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

The opening drums from "When The Levee Breaks" from Led Zeppelin IV.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:11 AM on January 26, 2010

I always liked JAZ's sampling in I Played Sports .

At one point in the middle of a track this Episcopal priest starts reading the benediction. Extremely surreal but effective somehow.
posted by jefficator at 11:12 AM on January 26, 2010

I think in that first Kelly Clarkson song, I recognized in the background the bong... bong... bong... sound you get when you leave the door open in a Ford Explorer (or similar). It's a sound everyone knows, and so when you use it as a repeating element in music, it's at once new and familiar. I think I've heard generic cellphone rings used this way. So if you can find other things like that that everyone knows, but weave them into the song unobtrusively, you can get a subtly neat effect. Do aim for subtle use. The elevator ding would be one idea. The sound that comes over the speakers in an airplane when it's technically OK to get up and start exiting is another. The sound of the microwave or toaster oven letting you know it's done. The I'm-backing-up sound on a construction vehicle. Car alarm (toned down maybe). Classic video game sounds. The light saber swinging sound. I once heard racetrack sounds used to neat effect - the sound of a high-revving car speeding past and into the distance at 200mph. The sound of a can of soda being opened. The crunch of a tortilla chip, maybe cleaned up and standardized a bit.
posted by Askr at 11:14 AM on January 26, 2010

Something with marching band snares. I want to hear more marching band snares.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:23 AM on January 26, 2010

OK. Announcements From Japanese Rail Transit has to be one of the most overused electronic music (and hip-hop too? c.f. Prefuse) conceits there is. It's right up there with Samples From Porno Fims or (later in a producer's career) Mouth Noises From My Infant Son/Daughter (which you've ominously gestured toward). Please don't do any of these.

My equally terrible suggestion: for a bizarre juxtaposition, mine 1970's country music, the kind that reminds you of big mustaches and makes you think you can smell a whiff of beef jerky in the air. Waylon Jennings did a cover of Berry's Brown-eyed Handsome Man in the style of the time, and if he can steal it from Chuck, you can take it from him. Heck, work in East Bound and Down or the theme from the Fall Guy while you're at it---I think you could make it smart and funny.

Probably already done... I don't listen to much hip-hop actually... more like enough electronic music to wish people would cut it out with the ^@%! Yamanote Line samples already. You've been to Japan? Whoa, that's so exotic!!1!1one
posted by Chef Flamboyardee at 11:32 AM on January 26, 2010

Two words: Neal Diamond
posted by jquinby at 11:56 AM on January 26, 2010

I've always felt that Faith No More's "Angel Dust" would be an excellent source of samples.
posted by Jart at 12:01 PM on January 26, 2010

Reading Rainbow Theme Song FTW!

Asher Roth
posted by phaedon at 12:25 PM on January 26, 2010

Laura Nyro -"Eli's coming"
Thelma Houston - "Today Will Soon Be Tomorrow"
Mike Marshall & Darol Anger - "Dolphines"
Jean-Luc Ponty - "Mirage"
David Bowie - "Stay"
posted by jade east at 12:37 PM on January 26, 2010

^@%! Yamanote Line samples already. You've been to Japan? Whoa, that's so exotic!!1!1one

but check out The Books' "Tokyo" from The Lemon of Pink. Their JAL sample is masterfully used and has been singing in my head for years now.
On topic: well articulated texts in a foreign language can be absurdly musical.
I'm a fan of hiphop hearking back to its roots. Also Nigerian/Ghanaian Highlife music (check out the relevant comps on Soundway). Getatchew Mekurya's saxophone is wild.
posted by gijsvs at 12:58 PM on January 26, 2010

I've always thought that Out in the Country by The Meters would make for an excellent sample.
posted by arm426 at 1:15 PM on January 26, 2010

It's hard to say, but Sweden.

Whatever you do, it's likely been done before. A bunch of the suggestions here have been done. The rest probably have been too. But that doesn't mean it can't be dope!

Typically you want to do something special to you, something that is unique to you. Hip Hop is awesome when each person expresses what is uniquely them. Hip hop started being a way to recontextualize art, as a way to add your voice to the conversation (for many who had been denied a voice) -- ©Krs. So it kind of needs your own voice. So maybe you'll find in the ideas that you select from these answers, that there is some unique theme or commonality in there, and you can run with it.

Back to what I was saying - for me Sweden is like the fountain of youth of music the last few years. So I'd sample sounds like Little Dragon, José González, The Knife/Fever Ray, Koop and Lykke Li. Also randomly that new Aziz Ansari special is Dave Chappelle funny, and there are a bunch of good samples in there waiting to happen.

Please post some of the results! and memail me if you want to work together on some songs! I'm not the greatest rapper in the world but I am hungry right now to do some new stuff and post it to mefi music.
posted by Rock The Word at 2:02 PM on January 26, 2010

I would go on, take a listen, then get song titles/artists from their playlists. They have all sorts of lounge, exotica, go-go music, etc. That stuff is just asking to be sampled!
posted by Fiorentina97 at 3:54 PM on January 26, 2010

I love to hear covers of earworm songs that travel far from their original genres. Here's some catchy music and/or inspiration in that vein, courtesy of YouTube:

Bizet's "Farandole" from L'Arlesienne (original or metal).
Europe's "The Final Countdown" (original or symphonic).
Eric Clapton's "Layla" (original or symphonic).
Harold Faltermeyer's "Axel F" from Beverly Hills Cop (original or choral).
Strauss' "Also sprach Zarathustra" (original or Phish)
Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke" (original or acoustic).

Other good sample fodder...
Ismail Darbar's "Silsila Ye Chaahat Ka" from Devdas.
Toshiyuki Watanabe's "Sedge Tree" from Shenmue.
Desi Arnaz's "Cuban Cabbie" from the I Love Lucy pilot.
And of course, Adriano Celentano's "Prisencolinensinainciusol" from The Internets.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 4:16 PM on January 26, 2010

I just found this J-urban cover of Bizet's "Farandole" and thought you might find it inspirational too. It's exactly the sort of thing I was thinking of when I linked the versions of it above.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 5:16 PM on January 26, 2010

The short drum break that appears about 2/3rds of the way through Sonic Youth's cover of Within You Without You.
posted by anagrama at 5:16 AM on January 27, 2010

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