Sample Sundays: James Brown, Eric B. & Rakim

What’s good, people? It’s Sunday, so you know it’s time for me to break y’all off with another sample, a funky treasure from the past that has given us some of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time.

 As I did with the sample from last week (if you haven’t checked it out yet, then clickity click that mouse, head over to last week’s post, and bump that shit!), this week I’ll be paying homage to the man who puts the soul in your hole, James Brown, once again.

This week’s sample comes from the debut album by James Brown and his group The J.B.’s. Together, James and his group of backing musicians, which changed here and there over the years as most bands do, crafted some of the greatest Soul, Funk, and R&B, of the 70s. So here it is cool cats, off of The J.B.’s appropriately titled funktacular first album Food For Thought (1972) — the J.B.’s classic jam “Pass the Peas” (this track is also included on the recently released anthology, titled, Funky Good Time: Anthology, which is definitely worth the $25 on Amazon):

The saxophone by the famous Maceo Parker combined with Fred Wesley’s flawless trombone (he led the J.B.’s by the way) does not disappoint. If your feet do not start to move and your ass doesn’t groove then pray for some musical deity to help you.

Now, which hip-hop artist most famously sampled this cut? Well, no suspense here homies, no cliff-hanger, or any of that bull, just this drawn out sentence for those who are slaves to text, reading every character for fear that they might miss something, when, in actuality, they could just scroll down to the bottom of the page like every other sample junkie checking out the blog in need of a quick sample fix, skipping all of the frightful words and going right to the play button to get their eargasm for the day, callously ignoring all of the time and energy spent into writing sentences such as this one – if you’ve read this far I commend you – with no regard for the author or any of the knowledge he is trying to drop in conjunction with the dope beats he is getting you hip to in the process – you get the idea.

With no further self- aware comic adieu, here it is, some base for your face:

Eric B. & Rakim – “I Ain’t No Joke”

This is one of the most famous hip-hop songs ever recorded. You would be hard-pressed to find a hip-hop head that has not heard this song and can rap all of the lyrics off the top of his or her dome (I may or may not be able to do this). “I Ain’t No Joke” is the first track off of the certified platinum album Paid In Full, released in 1987 on the now defunct 4th & B’Way Records, a U.S. subsidy of Island Records.

The album is a timeless classic and Rakim’s rhymes set a new standard for what it means to be an MC (rapper, or Master of Ceremonies if you want to get technical). His use of internal rhymes, in addition to rhyming without regard for the bar lines, was groundbreaking, and that, coupled with Eric B.’s super soulful and sample heavy production (along with the impeccable scratching) are guaranteed to sound just as fresh today as they did back in 87’. Cop the album from your local record store (they still have those around if you look hard enough) if you don’t have it already and turn the base up as you imagine yourself in a blue and green sweat suit with dookie rope chains, pinky rings, and enough gold to make King Tut check himself (see the video).

Here is a list of some of the artists who have sampled “Pass the Peas”:

De la Soul – “Pass the Plugs”

Eric B and Rakim – “I Ain’t No Joke”

Eric B and Rakim – “Move the Crowd”

Funkmaster Flex ft Buckshot – “I Ain’t No Joke”

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five – “On the Strength”

Heavy D – “The Overweight Lovers in the House”

Kid ‘N Play – “Do the Kid ‘N Play Kick Step”

Mr. Lee – “Pump That Body”

Pete Rock & CL Smooth – “One in a Million”

Pharcyde – “I’m That Type of Nigga”

Shante – “Have a Nice Day”

Souls of Mischief – “What a Way to Go Out”

Stezo – “Talking Sense”

Stop the Violence Movement – “Self-Destruction”

Tyree – “Move Your Body”

Thanks for reading, people. Check back next week for more hip-hop samples.