I like to think all great ideas are born from a spark of inspiration and that we all have mentors or people to thank for our accomplishments. For many of us, it might be our parents, who afforded us the opportunity to dream. For others, it might be a friend who encouraged you to do what you love. For many artists, it’s artists who came before them and crafted sounds that inspired their art.
As much as I love searching for new music, I’m a firm believer in slowing down and listening repeatedly to the music that you love the most. Have a playlist of your all-time favorites and play that on repeat (mine is always growing, it lives here*). Learn about artists from the past who might have inspired modern day sounds you love (recently I watched a documentary called 20 Feet From Stardom, definitely recommend watching that). Do some research on the artists who have inspired your favorite artists of today.
The artist I’ve loved getting to know the most during the time I’ve run Sunset is Chance the Rapper. I’ve written countless stories, tweets, Facebook posts, etc. about my love for Chance and his music. He’s a perfect example of an artist who inspires me to take a break from hunting for new music. Most Thursday mornings on my way to work I’ll turn on some hip-hop music to get myself excited for what’s arguably one of the best days of the week. It tends to be Chance I’m listening to on repeat.
In the spirit of learning more about inspiration, and because I can’t get enough of Chance, I dug a little deeper into many of the songs that Chance has sampled. I have this idea in my mind of artists and producers finding a neighborhood record store and spending a full afternoon dusting off old records, putting them on the turntables, and listening for inspiration in some classic pieces. That could or could not be how it actually happens, but no matter the method, I think it’s just as important to learn about and understand wheresounds in the songs you love come from as it is to interpret the words and stories they’ve pieced together. So I’ve put together this Spotify playlist below that features songs Chance has sampled in his portfolio of songs on 10 Day and Acid Rap. Hit the jump for a tracklist that maps the samples to Chance’s original songs.
*Note: many of my favorite songs are not on this playlist because they’re not yet available on Spotify. Almost all of Chance’s music would be on here if it could be.
- Black Heat – Zimba Ku (sampled in “14,400 Minutes” on 10 Day)
- Dead Prez – Hip Hop (sampled in “Missing You” on 10 Day)
- Gene Pierson – Summer Rain (sampled in “Missing You” on 10 Day)
- Beirut – Nantes (sampled in “Long Time” and “Long Time II” on 10 Day)
- Angel – You’re Not Fooling Me (sampled in “Family” on 10 Day)
- The Isley Brothers – Between the Sheets (sampled in “Juke Juke” on 10 Day)
- Waka Flocka Flame – Fuck This Industry (sampled in “Fuck You Tahm Bout on 10 Day)
- Brenda Russell – So Good, So Right (sampled in “Prom Night” on 10 Day)
- Pete Rock, C.L. Smooth – They Reminisce Over You (sampled in “Nostalgia” on 10 Day)
- Lonnie Liston Smith – Bridge Through Time (sampled in “Windows” on 10 Day)
- Basement Jaxx – Where’s Your Head At (sampled in “Long Time II” on 10 Day)
- Curtis Mayfield – Pusherman (sampled in “Pusha Man” on Acid Rap)
- Lyn Collins – Think (About It) (sampled in “Cocoa Butter Kisses” on Acid Rap)
- Dave Grusin – Modaji (sampled in “Pusha Man” on Acid Rap)
- Donny Hathaway – Jealous Guy (sampled in “Juice” on Acid Rap)
- Willie Hutch – Brother’s Gonna Work It Out (sampled in “Lost” on Acid Rap)
- The National Gallery – Diana in the Autumn Wind (sampled in “Everybody’s Something” Acid Rap)
- Slum Village – Fall in Love (sampled in “Everybody’s Something” Acid Rap)
- Betty Wright – Clean Up Woman (sampled in “Favorite Song” on Acid Rap)
- Jack Wilkins – Red Clay (sampled in “NaNa” on Acid Rap)
- Mountain – Long Red (sampled in “Chain Smoker” on Acid Rap)
- Common – Faithful (ft. John Legend, Bilal) (sampled in “Good Ass Intro” on Acid Rap)
- Kanye West, DJ Khaled – Cold (sampled in “Everything’s Good – Good Ass Outro on Acid Rap)
- The Backyard Heavies – Chitlin’ Strut (sampled in “Everything’s Good – Good Ass Outro on Acid Rap)