A collection of classic and new samples
featuring artists like
The Good People • The Allergies • DJ Yoda • ASM • Mr Cheeks • Sampa the Great • DJ Format • Bronx Slang
About this playlist
The early roots of Hip Hop were all about the foundation breaks, old soul and funk records with the exciting drum breaks, sometimes just a snippet of a track mixed together by the DJ’s first for the dancers and later years for the MC’s also to rap over.
Record collectors Lenny ‘Godfather of the breaks’ Roberts and Louis ‘Breakbeat Lou’ Flores, both regulars at the early Bronx River block parties made famous by Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa, Lou a DJ since 74 and both already avid record collectors they connected by their passion of early Soul and Funk. Lenny noticed the demand for the breaks and with his knowledge of the records, shops and distributors set about buying as many as he could to sell on and then to look for new breaks.
The individual records were then pressed onto bootleg albums called the Octopus breaks, a prized possession for any block party DJ who couldn’t get his hands on the original recordings. This was primarily the use of these records from DJ’s and collectors and if history took a different course it could have stayed this way, the early actual hip hop studio recordings were using live bands or reconstructed samples, like the legendary use of ‘Good Times’ by Chic on ‘Rappers Delight’ and I’ve read quite a few reports that the early scene, musically that is was struggling and may have even never took off, in that I mean the continuation of actual recording rap records, I’ve no doubt the hip hop scene would have took somehow, someway.
So demand for the records dampened for a while but when the SP12 sampler was released in 1985 and started to be used by Rap producers like Rick Rubin when he remade LL Cool J’s ‘Rock the Bells’ with samples of Trouble Funk, Chic, Corrine and AC/DC and then Marley Marl, who sampled Impeach the president for Mc Shan’s The Bridge from the Octopus breaks, the demand quickly started again for the breaks and Lenny Roberts started a new label and officially released on Street Beat records the Ultimate Breaks and Beats, this is where most DJ’s and record collectors join the story.
1987/88 were the golden years for UBB and many of the classic tracks of the time contained samples taken directly from the records, two classic examples are BDP – My Philosophy, sampling Stanley Turrentine – Sister Sanctified and Eric B & Rakim – I Know You Got Soul, sampling Bobby Byrd’s track of the same name, Funkadelic – You’ll like it to and Syl Johnson – Different Strokes.
Up until 1991 twenty five records were released and over 150 tracks that have been a goldmine for DJ’s, producers, record collectors and Soul and Funk fans and the music and breaks on them have been used on 100’s of Rap and pop songs and even though now the original source might be used, the influence of these records continues to this day, it could be argued that they are the building blocks of modern Dance culture, many imitators followed but none with the influence of UBB.
The most sampled track ever and one that was released on UBB that has had such an influence on the music scene especially in the UK is the Winstons Amen Brother sampled over 1500 times, but for the first track on the playlist we’re going back to 1973 with the Honey Drippers ‘Impeach the President’ sampled over 700 times and on great effect on Digable Planets ‘Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)’ from back in 1992.
The record went gold and won a Grammy and the names of the band members Doodlebug, Butterfly and Ladybug Mecca tell you that this was so far removed from the prevalent Gangsta Rap of the time, although the sample of The Honey Dippers was possibly taken from the UBB series, it was Butterflys father’s love of Jazz and the fact these records were available in his home ready to be sampled that took the group in this direction, other tracks used in the recording were Stretching by Art Blakey, Blow Your Head – Fred Wesley, Foodstamps – 24 Carat Black and On The Subway – The Last Poets.
The playlist contains some classic samples and the record using the sample, more recent finds added and updated as and when I find a interesting sample and a quality new record using it.