Written by Jah Diggs
We broke down two songs from TDE Producer, Tommy Black, to show the samples used in creating his masterpieces for Ab-Soul and Kendrick Lamar.
We here at TasteCreators decided to put together a little running list of low-key legendary producers. Masters at mixing and re-purposing obscure songs into classic music.
What does it fully take to conceptualize a thought into sound? Some samples are deeply mulled over and chose to layer meaning into the song. Some samples are sounds of mundane things transcended into rhythms and vibes. We’re gonna be taking time once a week to delve into the esoteric impact of some classics, new faves and underrated.
First I’d like to talk about Tommy Black, a Swedish born, up & coming producer who is currently producing for the TDE / Black Hippy camp. His process results in a unique sound for the rich story-lines discussed in the songs, unlike anything else we’re seeing coming out of other artists. Let’s dissect two of my favorite songs he’s produced.
The Book Of Soul – AB-Soul
A Song For You – The Carpenters [1:29]
Moondance – Bobby McFerrin [0:08]
What makes this a beautiful homage to love is really the lyrical content. AB talks about love transcending time and space, while coping with losing his soulmate. When the Carpenters’ sample comes in, AB’s proclaiming to meet his love at the spot they’d discussed, in the hopes that reincarnation is real. Theres just a cohesion that melts these songs together so well, with the snippet grabbed from “A Song For You” which is right at the point where The Carpenters are proclaiming ‘my love is hiding in the melody & when this life is over remember our time together’, “Moondance’s” sample is simply the icing on the cake. Black takes the first few seconds of the song, speeds it up, makes the vocals more prominent, loops it and weaves the bittersweet tapestry that pulls this sad love story together.
Blow My High – Kendrick Lamar
4 Page Letter – Aaliyah [1:06]
Voyager – Dexter Wansel [1:07]
Solutions – Dexter Wansel [0:22]
Big Pimpin’ – JayZ & UGK [3:01]
Black takes a millisecond here, a second there, a verse from there and makes magic. Pulling together splices of some old favorites about the danger of loving someone & the dangers of traveling through space this becomes a fresh take on the perils of phony living blowing a perfectly good high. This song is ultimately a tribute to the greats in their journey to the next life, while simultaneously a challenge to other rappers to do better. The samples used wee so subtle, and mixed so well it takes a trained ear to hear the Wansel sprinkled all throughout the song. But that waxy Wansel flare is what gives this sound its depth. The hook is an homage to big pimping so it’s only right it got chopped up and thrown into the mix as well. All in all it just meshes together so beautifully.
Be sure to follow Tommy Black on Twitter and Soundcloud.
What are some of your favorite sampled songs? Who are your favorite producers that are great at using samples? We want to know! Tweet us @TasteCreators