EgoTrip’s Top 25 James Brown Sampled Records. (via @egotripland)
PREFACE: I originally compiled this list as a companion piece to a James Brown memorial for Scratch magazine not long after the Godfather of Soul’s passing on Christmas Day, 2006. On this, what would have been his 79th birthday, I’ve resurrected the piece and revamped it a little, re-formatting it in similar fashion to how we’ve been doing our sample flips posts. Even though the story’s original title emphasizes the premise that these are the 25 greatest rap records to sample James Brown or James Brown productions, the competitive rankings were honestly less important to me when I wrote it than simply presenting something that celebrated the range of James’ influence on hip-hop over different eras. Frankly, I don’t think there’s any way to reduce the importance of James Brown’s music to hip-hop to 25 examples because without James Brown there is no hip-hop (not to mention any other form of modern club or dance related music). And that applies whether you’re talking hip-hop constructed via samples, or played by keyboard or band, or built from (turntable) scratch. That said, here’s the list. Feel free to suggest your favorites or hit the comments section with miscellaneous feedback/complaints. But just be sure while you’re at it to wish the Godfather a happy birthday. RIP, James Brown – always and forever the star of the show.
Originally published in Scratch, March/April 2007.