Rap To Kick Back With
February 17, 2013 10:06 PM   Subscribe

1990s Rap Music Question: Lately I've been thinking about "Without a Doubt" by Black Sheep and "Big Poppa" by Notorious B.I.G... They both use Isley Brothers samples that feature that same "whining" instrument that gives them a sort of nostalgic, laid-back, almost melancholy feel. And they're both about chilling and being happy instead of thugging out or getting violent. What other songs have that same non-gangsta, nostalgic vibe? I'm thinking there must have been more in the 90s that I haven't heard. Seems like the West Coast had a similar "whine" in their sound but it always sounded different than the examples I mentioned, and they were repping thug life more out west? I admit, I honestly don't know...take me to school, brothers and sisters. Thanks in advance.
posted by ktoad to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: And just to be clear, I'm mainly asking about other songs that have a similar sound to those two songs' samples, not just any old relaxed hip hop. Thanks again.
posted by ktoad at 10:08 PM on February 17, 2013

The Pharcyde – Passin Me By
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:34 PM on February 17, 2013

Ice Cube's "It Was a Good Day" also samples the Isley Brothers. (The lyrics, however, are quite 'gangsta' of course) I like this sound too and while I can't think of anything specific at the moment, I know I've found stuff in the past through this site The-Breaks, which lists a ton of songs from all sorts of genres that have been sampled in rap tracks. I bet you'd have some luck in the "Soul, Funk and R&B" section. Another good resource is WhoSampled.com (warning: you may find yourself browsing these sites and realize two hours have passed). As for chill hip-hop, I always like Latyrx--if the sound of this track is the kind of thing you're talking about you should check them out. Their lyrics are pretty positive or at least pensive/cerebral.
posted by lovableiago at 11:05 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the great answers so far, keep them coming!

@loveableiago: even though Ice Cube worked in the gangsta genre, I think "It Was a Good Day" definitely fits the vibe.
posted by ktoad at 11:16 PM on February 17, 2013

Souls of Mischief, Del and Aceyalone have similar jazz/funk-influenced 90s styles. West Coast btw.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:23 PM on February 17, 2013

Jurassic 5 - Concrete Schoolyard

Giant Panda - Laser Ray

also a lot of Outkast's older stuff has this vibe to it. No specific recommendations but try stuff off ATliens or Aquemini
posted by mannequito at 11:25 PM on February 17, 2013

(also I'm just putting the finishing touches on my Mefi Mix CD swap and my theme this year is hip-hop, generally in this vein - if you want send me an email with your address and I'll burn an extra and send it to you if you're in North America)
posted by mannequito at 11:28 PM on February 17, 2013

Snoop Dogg, Gin & Juice
posted by like_neon at 5:02 AM on February 18, 2013

Don't miss the alternate mix of Cube's Good Day featuring an awesome Staples Singers sample that fits right in the groove you're thinking of.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 5:16 AM on February 18, 2013

Oh man I love this. My friend and I used to refer to these as kick-back tracks too - e.g., you can just see yourself kicking back, listening to these tracks tooling around in a convertible on a warm sunny day. Some more (some happy, some not so much):

Definitely seconding Pharcyde (She Said) & Souls of Mischief (93 til Infinity)

KRS One - Higher Level

Geto Boys - My Mind Playing Tricks on Me and Damn it Feels Good to Be a Gangsta

Nas - Half Time and It Ain't Hard to Tell

Warren G - Do You See
posted by googly at 6:38 AM on February 18, 2013

Fantastic Voyage by Coolio was gangsta rap, but the song really isnt.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:58 AM on February 18, 2013

Large Professor - Ijuswannachill
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - Straighten It Out
Super Chron Flight Bros - Reggie Miller
Fashawn - Strange Fruit
Talib Kweli - So Low
Binary Star - Reality Check
Sean Price - Mess You Made
Kid Cudi - Hyyer
Pharaohe Monch - The Truth
De La Soul - A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays
Nas - Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park)
Del tha Funky Homosapien - Mistadobalina
Zion I - Temperature
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 7:11 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I also have many playlists and mix CDs like this.

Some of my favorite tunes that haven't got mentioned:

Acid Raindrops - People Under the Stairs
Still Rappin - Haiku D'Etat
Elevators - Outkast
Stressed Out - ATCQ
T.R.O.Y. - Pete Rock & CL Smooth
posted by gnutron at 7:47 AM on February 18, 2013

Well here are all the songs that used those samples:

Sample FAQ is AWESOME!!!!

Here is an excerpt for 3 + 3 which was used in Without a Doubt:

* "Who's That Lady?"
Beastie Boys - "A Year and a Day"
* "The Highway of My Life"
Black Sheep - "Without a Doubt"
* "Summer Breeze"
DJ Shadow - "Midnight in a Perfect World"
Tupac - "Confessions"
posted by jasondigitized at 8:30 AM on February 18, 2013

Oh man, you have to listen to the Bone Thugs album, Art of War! Both discs/tapes/whatever are good. There are some songs that are on the more hardcore-sounding end of things but

For instance, I love this track.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 9:58 AM on February 18, 2013

On reread I think that's not what you're looking for, sorry!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 10:08 AM on February 18, 2013

Jungle Brothers: Brain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0yVF3sc4I
posted by zscore at 10:14 AM on February 18, 2013

Love this thread - I collected as many of these as I could find into an Rdio playlist. Probably needs some sequencing work and definitely more tracks - feel free to make edits.
posted by bbuda at 12:35 PM on February 18, 2013

DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince - Summertime
posted by box at 6:35 PM on February 18, 2013

(The whiny sound in 'Summertime' is from Kool and the Gang's 'Summer Madness'--here are a bunch of other songs that sample it.)
posted by box at 6:40 PM on February 18, 2013

the related videos to some of these on youtube are great

Mack 10 - Backyard Boogie
posted by citron at 7:28 PM on February 18, 2013

California Love - 2Pac
posted by SisterHavana at 9:19 PM on February 18, 2013

« Older My apartment is stifling my productivity!   |   Toyota Prius owners- what should you've known when... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.