James Pants - Stones Throw recording artist, producer, DJ, spice enthusiast (a man for whom no meal is complete without a bottle of Sriracha ). Though not your conventional "rap" producer, Pants garners 'nuff props from rap people both classic and contemporary (we're betting he's the only individual to have collab-ed with both Egyptian Lover and Tyler, the Creator ) by simply, always being Pants. Meaning he's both wildly skilled and wildly unpredictable with his music-making - as evidenced by his varied excursions into electro funk, easy listening, and the atmospheric and lovely whateveryouwannacallit pop/rock stuff of his latest, excellent, self-titled LP. Nevermind the fact that he holds down a rarely updated, curry-centric BLOGZ page on this here very site. We'd still have asked the guy for a list of his favorite sample flips. Before you check 'em out, a word from the Spice Guy hisself:
James Pants: To preface this, I would like to first add that I don’t like professionalism. That is, I don’t like samples when they are chopped, cut, spliced, and re-formed with technical prowess. I like my hip-hop simple, stupid, and illegal. Why mess with a good thing? So, here are 10 of my favorite songs that more or less pull a full hi-jack..."
CLICK THE THUMBNAILS ABOVE TO CHECK OUT JAMES' FAVORITE SAMPLE FLIPS
1. MF Doom –“My Favorite Ladies (Madlib Remix)” (White Label, 2004)
SAMPLE SOURCE: Tom Browne - "Come For The Ride" (GRP, 1981)
James Pants: Madlib is a genius. Of course, that’s been said thousands of times, but 'tis true indeed. The thing I like about him is that he can cut up a sample super fine if he wants, but half the time he’s too lazy and realizes it sounds better when left alone. Maybe lazy isn’t the right word. Maybe the right word is smart.
2. Three 6 Mafia – "Poppin’ My Collar" (Sony, 2005)
PRODUCERS: DJ Paul, Juicy J
SAMPLE SOURCE: Willie Hutch - "Theme of The Mack" (Motown, 1973)
James Pants: I think the Three 6 Mafia families have sampled every inch of every Willie Hutch record made. I'm counting at least three Mafia songs that use this song along. I’m not complaining. In fact, I like listening to their versions more than the OG. All you have to do is throw a mean 808 on top of those horns. I used to work in a “residential treatment facility” for girls. Basically it was one notch above jail. There was this 14 year old girl there named Brenda who got me into Three 6. I hope things are going better for her these days...
3. Trae ft. H.A.W.K. & Fat Pat – "Swang (Chopped)" (G-Maab, 2006)
PRODUCER: Mr. Rogers
SAMPLE SOURCE: Michael Jackson – "The Lady In My Life" (Epic, 1982)
James Pants: The intro guitar from “Lady In My Life” is the best thing to sample of all time. It probably costs a lot of money too. The key is, the song is all soft like lotion, but then you get these total gangsters on it and it makes this crazy combination where you can’t tell if it’s heaven or hell. When Trae is slowed down too, he sounds incredible.
4. Morocco Moe – "Task" (Mo Roc, 1988)
PRODUCER: Raul "EFX" Recinos
SAMPLE SOURCE: Kraftwerk - "The Man Machine" (Capitol, 1978)
James Pants: If I had to pick my top five songs of all time, I would have to include “Numbers” by Kraftwerk. But “Man Machine” is pretty good too. Maybe in my top 200. Whatever. This 12” is pretty rare, I found out about it on a podcast this Bay Area dude Whitemare did. Anyways, this is probably the hardest use of the Kraftwerk loop to date. The Jay-Z one was soft.
5. King George – "TRU Player" (Wrap, 1997)
PRODUCER: King George
SAMPLE SOURCE: Patrice Rushen – "You Remind Me" (Elektra, 1982)
James Pants: Similar to MJ’s “Lady In My Life”, this is another song that is infinitely sample-able and sounds wicked when paired with some gangster shize. I don’t know too much about King George actually, so maybe he’s not that much of a gangster but a nice dude instead. The best part of the song is at the VERY end when they start experimenting with reverb.
6. Scuba Slim – "Sara" (Stones Throw, 2001)
PRODUCER: Scuba Slim
SAMPLE SOURCE: Jefferson Starship – "Sara" (Grunt, 1986)
James Pants: This is probably the number one reason I’m proud to be on the Stones Throw label. I think it’s the worst (in a good way) record they ever put out. I think the sales figures were somewhere in the single digits or something like that. Also, the dude turned out to be an asshole, I hear. Anyways, this is one of the single most bizarre things ever recorded. Who would have thought that Jefferson Starship had loops?
7. ISSUE – "Haters" (Sick Wid It)
Sample Source: Koji Kondo – "Dire Dire Docks" (Super Mario 64)
James Pants: ISSUE came to my attention several months ago, and I fell in love with a song of his called “Music Non Stop” (I told you I like Kraftwerk). He’s the nephew of E-40, or something like that. Don’t quote me. Anyways, he raps about Arizona iced tea non-stop and seems like a very respectable young man. In this song he loops the underwater level from the Nintendo 64 version of Mario and raps about all the people hatin’ on him. It’s like wood-nymph rap.
>8. Gonjasufi – "DedNd" (Warp, 2010)
PRODUCER: Gaslamp Killer
SAMPLE SOURCE: Jeff St. John – "Eastern Dream" (Spin, 1966)
James Pants: Man, Gaslamp Killer hooked this record up! It’s all massive loops with a layer of fuzz. It’s heaven for me. It took me a LONG time to find this one, and it turns out it’s a really obscure psych 7” from Australia by this dude Jeff St. John, but it’s also on some mid-'80s comp of Australian psych. I finally found it, though. GLK grabbed all the good parts and edited it together with pizazz. Flawless.
9. Madvillain – "Accordion" (Stones Throw, 2004)
SAMPLE SOURCE: Daedelus – "Experience" (Plug Research, 2002)
James Pants: Well, we’ve arrive back at Madlib again. The thing that’s so impressive about this is that he sampled Daedelus (who everyone should check out). I think it’s always exciting when someones samples something from only a few years ago and everybody is out scavenging used record stores to try to find it and all they have to do is walk into Best Buy. Madlib was also able to find basically the most-loopable part of the original song, which is quite free-jazz in a way. It’s like trying to find a loop on the Art Ensemble of Chicago records. Wait, there is a big loop on that one song of theirs…
10. Psychodrama – "Magic" (Uncle Rick, 1994)
PRODUCER: The Legendary Traxster
SAMPLE SOURCE: Bootsy's Rubber Band – "Munchies For Your Love" (Warner Bros., 1977)
James Pants: Oh man, do I love this song by Psychodrama. I love the way Chicago dudes rap (actually, in this case it's a female - but the same holds true). The song and sample are so slow, so they do the double-time treatment. Sounds like some snowstorm music. The 808 snare hits are a nice touch too.
HONORABLE MENTION: Mac Mall – "My Opinion" (Young Black Brotha, 1993)
SAMPLE SOURCE: Mad Professor & Pato Banton – "My Opinion" (Ariwa, 1985)
James Pants: I’m trying to think of other rap songs where there is a normal pitched voice rapping alongside a high pitched one… The effect is quite dramatic. This one isn’t a sample flip per se, more like an interpolation, but it’s amazing. All the Bay Area dudes smoke a bunch of weed, so it figures that they would go a find some Mad Professor dub of a Pato Banton tune to bite. I like that about the Bay Area. I like most things about the Bay Area come to think of it (right now I’m enjoying the mid-'80s smooth jazz scene). The only thing I don’t like is all those crust-punks right outside of Amoeba records on Haight. They always have those poor dogs with them, and I’m not sure they’re being properly fed.