Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Samples of All Time

Listicles, despite their objective presentation, are always line-in-the-sand subjective ones. I had fun spending the day with Kon + Amir's 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Samples of All Time, but by not representing it as their "favorites," but a conclusive sort of thing, one can find fault with the numerous David Axelrod inclusions and over-examination of the source material of A Tribe Called Quest tracks (and leaving off "Apache" and "Funky Drummer" in the process feels oddly a-historical). The pleasures are parallel though, digging both the originals and then how small fragments re-appear decades later to power what gets considered "the golden age" of hip-hop. Where it resonates for me the most though is not as an old-school hip-hop lesson (though it is that as well) but as a revisiting of personal history. Back when hip-hop soundtracked my high school ride and shitty kitchen boomboxes, the deep digging that producers like Paul C., Large Professor, Eric B., Dre, Prince Paul, and DJ Premier did was wholly lost on me back then.