One of the most talented producer/emcees working today, Oddisee knows a thing or two about creative balance. With mid-Atlantic state roots (Washington D.C., baby), he’s as influenced by Rap-A-Lot as Native Tongues. The son of a Sudanese pops and African-American moms, he’s as attuned to African rhythms as go-go swing. And as a champion of both live instrumentation and sampling he’s as liable to construct an ingenious Motown remix, as weave an autobiographical gem, or forge an acclaimed boom-bap throwback (Diamond District’s 2009 In the Ruff). With his new album, People Hear What They See, earning high grades, we felt it was time for folks to hear and see what Oddisee’s favorite sample flips are.
HIT UP THE THUMBNAILS ABOVE TO CHECK OUT ODDISEE’S FAVORITE SAMPLE FLIPS
1. Common - "Invocation" (Relativity, 1997)
PRODUCER: No I.D.
SAMPLE SOURCE: Jimmy Ponder – “Jennifer” (Impulse, 1976)
Oddisee: When I first heard the OG sample, I was just impressed [with] how No I.D. spotted that. The guitar loop was buried in the middle of the song. It could have easily been overlooked and it reminded me that I need to take in an entire song rather than just listening to the beginning.
2. Gang Starr - "Mass Appeal" (Chrysalis, 1994)
PRODUCER: DJ Premier
SAMPLE SOURCE: Vic Juris – “Horizon Drive” (Muse, 1980)
Oddisee: I love that sample as it taught me to train my ear, and to listen to records that don’t necessarily reveal themselves so easily or in the beginning of the song. Love how Premier found that sample in the middle of the song, as it’s so short and fast, and flipped it into a hip-hop classic.
3. Missy Elliott ft. Da Brat - "Sock It 2 Me" (Elektra, 1997)
SAMPLE SOURCE: The Delfonics – “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love) (Philly Groove, 1968)
Oddisee: The way Timbaland programmed that Delfonics sample shows [the flexibility of] hip-hop [in relation to] other genres of music. How a soul record could be flipped into something more syncopated opened up my perspective on how hip-hop could take music out of a genre [it was] created [from] and make it into something else.
4. Jay-Z ft. Memphis Bleek - "Can I Live II" (Roc-A-Fella, 1999)
SAMPLE SOURCE: The 24-Carat Black “Mother’s Day” (Enterprise, 1973)
Oddisee: That track is so cinematic to me. As a producer/emcee I had never really rapped on tempos that slow before. That record inspired me to rap on more down-tempo stuff.
5. De La Soul - "Stakes Is High" (Tommy Boy, 1996)
PRODUCER: J Dilla
SAMPLE SOURCE: Ahmad Jamal – “Swahililand” (20th Century, 1974)
Oddisee: I wasn’t really a “looper” when I first started. I was into chopping samples into small pieces, as I didn’t have a huge record collection at my disposal. But that “Stakes is High” sample really made me appreciate looping and capturing those moments as a whole.
6. Dr. Dre ft. Hittman, Kurupt, Nate Dogg & Six-Two - "Xxplosive" (Aftermath, 1999)
PRODUCERS: Dr. Dre, Mel-Man
SAMPLE SOURCE: Soul Mann & the Brothers – “Bumpy’s Lament” (Pickwick, 1971)
Oddisee: [Hearing this is] when I first started understanding on how to replay samples and incorporate live musicians. It’s something I do all the time now with my productions.
7. J-88 (a/k/a Slum Village) - "The Look of Love Pt. 1" (Groove Attack, 2000)
PRODUCER: J Dilla
SAMPLE SOURCE: Barney Kessel – “The Look of Love” (Black Lion, 1969)
Oddisee: ["The Look of Love"] is one of my favorite songs to sample. Every time I hear it, I instantly like it. And Dilla’s flip is my favorite usage of that [song].
8. Jay-Z - "A Million and One Questions" (Roc-A-Fella, 1997)
PRODUCER: DJ Premier
SAMPLE SOURCE: Latimore – “Let Me Go” (Glades, 1976)
Oddisee: I love piano samples and that’s one of my favorite piano samples.
9. Busta Rhymes - "Everybody Rise" (Elektra, 1998)
SAMPLE SOURCE: The Controllers – “If Tomorrow Never Comes” (Juana, 1978)
Oddisee: Yet another sample that I wish I would have found first. It just has so much energy in the sample and the track, and it’s one my favorites. It’s epic.
10. Kanye West - "Late" (Roc-A-Fella, 2005)
PRODUCER: Kanye West
SAMPLE SOURCE: The Whatnauts – “I’ll Erase Away Your Pain” (Stang, 1970)
Oddisee: I love using vocal samples, but with the focus not being on the vocal, but turning the vocal into another instrument in the loop.