The Before. A curated playlist of samples and originals

I’ve been having a lot of fun curating a playlist of songs and the corresponding tracks they sampled from. Well, that’s not entirely fair. Some of the tracks are inspirations or plain remakes.

Much of it is hip-hop, unsurprising for any fans of the genre. Hip-hop pretty much defined sampling, getting the biggest artists and labels into trouble back then. Things have changed, and declarations and authorisations are required to be granted before a track is released. There is a perverse net negative result to that for the artists, but that can wait for another day.

I’ve been a hip-hop fan since I first heard some early tracks in 1980/1981 when I got deep in the weeds of hip-hop for more than 15 years. To this day, it has a special place in my heart.

So when a friend recently told me about a playlist on Spotify (I’m not a subscriber), I asked him to export the tracklist so I could manually recreate it using Apple Music.

That playlist was featured in a [New York Times] article, giving me inspiration for my own take on the idea.

My list is currently a work in progress with 49 songs and lasts 4:19 hours, although that is likely to grow. It features several types of music, from Rap, Jazz, Reggae and Ska. The goal is to have one or more original tracks directly before the track that uses its samples from the previous track(s).

It’s called, The Before. I described it as:

Many popular tracks stand on the shoulders of previous songs. This playlist gives you the originals before they were sampled, covered, or otherwise copied.

Feel free to suggest :grinning:

Track Artist Album Genre
Mr. Magic Grover Washington Jr. Live At The Bijou Jazz
Soul Flower The Brand New Heavies Heavy Rhyme Experience Vol 1 Hip-Hop/Rap
Soul Flower (Remix) The Pharcyde Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde Hip-Hop/Rap
Who Knows Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsys Rock
Way We Swing Digital Underground Sex Packets Hip-Hop/Rap
Celestial Blues Andy Bey Experience and Judgment Jazz
Celestial Blues Gary Bartz and NTU Troop Return To The Tough Side Jazz
To Whom It May Concern Black Sheep A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing Hip-Hop/Rap
One Nation Under A Groove Funkadelic Hardcore Funk Jam R&B
Atomic Dog George Clinton Computer Games Pop
Red Black And Green Roy Ayers Evolution-Polydor Anthology R&B
Funkin’ Lesson X-Clan To The East, Blackwards Hip-Hop/Rap
Earth Bound X-Clan To The East, Blackwards Hip-Hop/Rap
Good Old Music Funkadelic Funkadelic Hip-Hop/Rap
Jimbrowski (Album Mix) Jungle Brothers Classic Hip Hop Mastercuts - Volume 1 Hip-Hop/Rap
Root Down (And Get It) Jimmy Smith Root Down Jazz
Root Down The Beastie Boys Ill Communication Hip-Hop/Rap
Chase The Devil Max Romeo & The Upsetters War Ina Babylon (Expanded Edition) Reggae
Lucifer JAY-Z The Black Album Hip-Hop/Rap
Edutainment Boogie Down Productions Edutainment Hip-Hop/Rap
Man in the Street Don Drummond & The Skatalites 100 Reggae & Ska Hits Reggae
(Not Just) Knee Deep Funkadelic Spirit Of Funk / CD 1 From The Roots… R&B
Me Myself And I De La Soul Three Feet High And Rising Hip-Hop/Rap
If You’ve Got It, You’ll Get It The Headhunters Survival of the Fittest R&B/Soul
Ruff Ruff (Featuring Freddie Foxx) Boogie Down Productions Sex And Violence Hip-Hop/Rap
Theme From The Black Hole Parliament Gloryhallastoopid R&B/Soul
Sing a Simple Song Sly & The Family Stone Stand (Bonus Tracks Edition) R&B/Soul
Let’s Play House Parliament Trombipulation R&B/Soul
Humpty Dance Digital Underground Sex Packets Hip-Hop/Rap
I Know You Got Soul Bobby Byrd James Brown’s Funky People (Part 2) R&B
I Know You Got Soul Eric B And Rakim Afrika Bambaataa Presents Eastside (Disc 1) Hip-Hop/Rap
Blow Your Head FRED WESLEYS & THE JB’S James Brown’s Funky People (Part 2) R&B
Public Enemy No. 1 Public Enemy Yo! Bum Rush The Show Hip-Hop/Rap
Summer In The City Quincy Jones Blaxploitation (Disc 2) R&B
Passing Me By The Pharcyde Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde Hip-Hop/Rap
Dematerialise Scientist Scientist Meets the Space Invaders Reggae
Rematerialised Death In Vegas Dead Elvis Electronic
More Bounce To The Ounce Zapp Funkology (Disc 1) R&B
Heed the Word of the Brother X-Clan To The East, Blackwards Hip-Hop/Rap
Blank Expression (2015 Remaster) The Specials The Specials (Deluxe Version) Rock
Eurochild Massive Attack Protection Electronic
Rudy, A Message To You Dandy Livingstone Trojan Originals Box Set (Disc 3) Reggae
A Message To You Rudy The Specials Stereo-Typical: A’s, B’s & Rarities (Disc 1) Alternative
Monkey Man The Maytals Trojan Originals Box Set (Disc 3) Reggae
Monkey Man (2015 Remaster) The Specials The Specials (Deluxe Version) Rock
Kathleen’s Theme Les McCann & Eddie Harris Swiss Movement R&B/Soul
Autobiographical Black Sheep Non-Fiction Hip-Hop/Rap
Harlem Buck Street Dance (LP Version) Les McCann Layers Jazz
The Main Ingredient Pete Rock & CL Smooth The Main Ingredient Hip-Hop/Rap