Artwork by Regina Lovitt

In recent years, we’ve seen the incorporation of 1990’s style, fashion influence today’s culture; that goes the same for 90s music. As many the music of the 1960s/1970s influenced producers, DJs and artists of the 1980s to sample, goes the same for this era. So with this being the month for lovers and for our first “Sound Origins” series article, I’m going to break down the elements of samples used from 90’s R&B music incorporated into today’s urban music scene.

Tory Lanez “Say It” (2015)

Produced by Andrew “Pop” Wansel and Toro

Samples Brownstone “If You Love Me” (1994)

Produced by Dave “Jam” Hall

Being one of Tory’s breakout hits in 2015, the song’s producers Pop and Toro samples the pre-hook section of Brownstone’s 1994 hit song “If You Love Me”. Little known fun fact is the Brownstone original also samples the drum pattern/bassline of K Solo’s Spellbound, produced by Erick Sermon.

Kendrick Lamar featuring Drake “Poetic Justice” (2012)

Produced by Snoop Deville with additional production from Sounwave

Samples Janet Jackson  “Any Time, Any Place” (1993)

Produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis


Snoop breaks down how the beat and song came together here.

Drake “How Bout Now” (2014)

Produced By Boi-1da and Jordan Evans 


Samples Jodeci “My Heart Belongs to You”

Produced By Devante Swing

Boi-1da and Jordan Evans incorporates the chops of Jodeci’s My Heart Belongs To You in a very smooth tasteful way, alongside with the electro synth bass and drum pattern that serves as a near perfect backdrop to Drake’s venting. Not the last you will see of Drake this list (spoiler alert).

Sidenote: The How Bout Now instrumental on Youtube is the closest I could find.

Ciara “Body Party” (2013)

Produced by Mike Will Made It and P-Nasty

Samples Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo” (1996)

Produced by Mahone, Rodney Terry, and Lil Jon

Rare to see Mike Will and his Ear Drummers squad use samples but this one hit the mark. Body Party samples 1996’s The Ghost Town DJ’s My Boo (the same song that caught viral waves in 2016’s Running Man challenge).

Rodney Terry, the founder of Ghost Town DJ’s speaks on Ciara’s use of the sample:

I’m cool with the Running Man Challenge, but the Ciara thing [“Body Party”] was a little different for me because I worked for Jive Records for 15 years. I was there when she got there, and I worked her records — to this  day, I don’t think she knows that it’s me. It was a little more special to me when Ciara did it.

Drake and J. Cole “Jodeci Freestyle”

Prod By Bink!

Samples Jodeci’s 4 U

Bink’s laces up Jodeci’s 4 U beautifully by pitching it, adjusting the tempo and tying it together with smoothly with a vibe out-jam like live bass behind it for Champagne Papi and Cole World to talk their shit.

Anderson .Paak’s “Might Be”

Produced by Lo Def

Samples Xscape’s Who Can I Run To (1995)

This banger produced by Lo Def, samples the chords, bassline and vocal elements of Xscape’s Who Can I Run To into a weed-pleasuring track to ride out to.

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