Song Of The Day 9/15/2014: Babe Ruth - "The Mexican"



Hip Hop Samples: One of my favorite websites that I have stuffed in my Bookmark Folder Of Higher Music Consciousness And Bar Argument Settlement is Whosampled.com. Based in England and live since 2008, this site provides the very useful service of matching contemporary songs that use samples -- primarily hip hop, of course, but not exclusively -- with the original versions of the tunes they nicked. I realize a lot of the old guard still might have a prickle in their marmalade about the ethicality of sampling, but everybody gets paid now (inasmuch as anybody's getting paid), and besides: Paul's Boutique. And hip hop has always considered the use of samples as a way of honoring the music. Most of the time that reverence comes through. Well, I'm not sure it worked with "Ice Ice Baby," but that was a sporting effort anyway, Rob Van Winkle. (Still don't get why you needed a stage name, by the way. "Rob Van Winkle" sounds like the perfect name for a narcoleptic Hobbit.)

Am I digressing again? All right, back on the beam: This week, with the help of Whosampled (who by the way also provide information on cover versions -- I could spend hours on this site in one sitting), I thought I'd dig through some of the more famous hip hop songs of classic and recent vintage and present one of the pieces those songs sampled. I thought this would be a good idea because (a) it's fun and informative, and (b) I still don't feel conversant or authoritative enough in hip hop to present some actual hip hop on this blog yet, which bugs me every day. I'm still learning. I got an intern.

You can't get much more seminal in hip hop than Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force's "Planet Rock," famously built around Kraftwerk's "Trans-Europe Express," but also containing a brief quote from British progressive rock band Babe Ruth's song "The Mexican." The part that Afrika Bambaataa took from Babe Ruth occurs at the 3:34 mark of "The Mexican," and appears in "Planet Rock" at the 3:48 point. I know this because WhoSampled.com also provides a page for each relationship between hip hip songs and what they sampled which contains this information and a YouTube video for each song. I love WhoSampled.com. It makes me feel more powerful which in turn raises my wife's estimation of my worth.

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