Some of the best hip hop songs are made from great Jazz records. You can always tell the great producers because they just don’t take a random sample from a song but they listen to the music to embody the essence of the original track. Some producers skim thru records trying to find something usable but the great thing about J Dilla is that he had to listen basically to this whole song before finding the perfect piece to sample.
Swahililand – Ahmad Jamal
Pianist Ahmad Jamal’s Swaililand is approximately 9 minutes and 28 seconds and the sample that drives De la Soul’s “Stakes is High” doesn’t even start til about 7 minutes and 29 second into the song.
De La Soul – Stakes Is High
The great thing I love about music is that a lot of times it comes back in a full circle. We have J Dilla sampling a great jazz song to create one of De La Soul’s most memorable songs ever. Then you have artists who might not have ever heard the original by Ahmad but who grew up on the music of Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul & etc. Now they are so inspired by this song and now are performing it live with their jazz group.
Below, is a track from Hidden Beach Recordings Unwrapped Series. I was honored to be apart of this record and to play on two songs on this album. I like this version but love the “Lee Hogan’s Revenge” version which is the last song on this record
Unwrapped Vol. 7 – Stakes Is High (De La Soul gets Unwrapped)
Lastly, check out this version played by the Robert Glasper Experiment. Robert has just released his new record “Black Radio” and is known for bringing J Dilla’s music to life in a jazz group context.
RCDC Experiment w/ special guests – J Dilla Tribute – Jazz á la Villette 2010