7 underground hip-hop songs and the samples that built them

September 22, 2014

Open Mike Eagle and Blockhead talked underground hip-hop on Secret Skin today, and about how some of the classics of the genre benefitted from the looser sampling and copyright guidelines of the era.   Below are seven such songs from artists and songs they mention, plus the samples that built them.

A Tribe Called Quest, “Award Tour”

…which samples “We Gettin’ Down” by Weldon Irvine

…and “Olinga” by Milt Jackson

Aceyalone, “The Guidelines”

…which samples “Baja Bossa” by Oliver Nelson

Brand Nubian, “Slow Down”


…which samples “What I Am” by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians

De La Soul, “Transmitting Live From Mars”


…which samples “You Showed Me” by The Turtles

Biz Markie, “Alone Again”

…which samples “Alone Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O’Sullivan

(This is the one that got Biz sued by Gilbert O’Sullivan. It is the non-legally-binding opinion of this blog that Biz Markie is awesome and that “Just A Friend” should be the national anthem.)

Artifacts, “Wrong Side Of Da Tracks”


…which samples Jack Bruce’s “Born to be Blue”


Aesop Rock, “Daylight” (produced by Blockhead)

…which samples “She Is My Lady” by Eric Gale

If you like what you heard, use your money to buy their products.

(This post aided immensely by whosampled.com, which is a gold mine of information.  Especially if you want to do a deep, deep dive on Paul’s Boutique.)