The Behind... Series looks to bring you pieces on the building blocks that comprise your favourite albums. Tackling records both old and new, we dive into the samples and interpolations that underpin the work of legendary producers. It doesn't matter whether you're a crate digger or a new pupil of hip hop: jump on in and learn about sampling, interpolating and the repurposed music of old.
The Jungle Brothers’ debut LP, Straight Out The Jungle, paired upbeat jazz samples with positive Afrocentricity. This then-novel vision kickstarted jazz rap and marked the beginning of the Native Tongues collective, a loose group of likeminded artists whose vision would leave an indelible mark on ‘90s alternative hip hop.
Straight Outta Compton: the definitive gangsta rap album. It made legends out of Eazy, Cube and Dre, setting the stage for a five-year period of commercial dominance that established the West Coast as a hip hop powerhouse. In this instalment of Behind…, we’re diving into the samples that help keep the record as exciting and incendiary as it was 30 years ago.
Follow The Leader - Eric B. & Rakim’s sophomore album - was released on July 25, 1988. The album, which boasts some of Rakim’s most commanding verses, is steeped in old school sensibilities that would soon give way to the more socio-political bent of ‘90s hip hop. In this instalment of Behind…, we’re looking at a classic from one of hip hop’s most formidable and influential duos.
Though emcees such as Roxanne Shanté and Antoinette had been releasing standalone singles for some time, MC Lyte’s 1988 debut, Lyte As A Rock, was hip hop’s first solo female LP. A critical and commercial success, it paved the way for female emcees throughout the ‘90s and beyond. In this edition of Behind…, we break down the impressive and oft-hilarious trailblazer.
One of the most important albums of all time, Public Enemy’s ‘It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back’ is turning thirty. In celebration of hip hop’s most revered LP, we’re taking a look at the samples that underpin PE’s magnum opus.
In this, the second part of our breakdown of Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, we cover from "Night of the Living Baseheads" to "Party For Your Right To Fight."
Big Daddy Kane’s 1988 debut, ‘Long Live The Kane,’ remains an important milestone in hip hop. Kane’s lyrical dexterity and fast-paced delivery would influence artists such as Nas and RZA, helping shape the ever-evolving art of hip hop. In honour of the 30th anniversary, we’re breaking down the samples throughout the classic debut!
Joey Badass was yet to graduate when he released ‘1999,’ his career-launching debut mixtape. Now, six years on, the tape that launched his career is finally on Spotify. We take a look at the samples underpinning Joey’s debut, exploring production from DOOM, Lord Finesse, Knxwledge and many more.
Boogie Down Productions’ second album, By All Means Necessary, is 30 years old. The classic 1988 LP helped shape politically-conscious hip hop, spurred by the untimely death of a founding member of the group. In this piece, we look back at the seminal album and the samples that underpinned it.
Daytona, Pusha T’s third solo album, is finally here. After three years of waiting, and a handful of false starts, the seven-track, Kanye produced record marks the beginning of Yeezy season. In this instalment of our Behind… series, we look into the samples underpinning Pusha’s new effort.
Jeru The Damaja’s ‘The Sun Rises In The East’ is a minor East Coast classic. Though obscured by a swathe of impressive East Coast efforts, Jeru’s debut finds him at his creative zenith alongside producer DJ Premier. In celebration of its 24th anniversary, we’ve broken down the samples within.