Entertainment › 30 songs from your favourite artists you didn’t know

     On a Friday afternoon I’m sipping a cold beverage because of the unfavourable weather. There is basically nothing to do and I’m bored to death. The previous day my Father had told me about a Nigerian Afro-beat group that arose in the early 1970s called Monomono and I downloaded their top tracks. I scroll through my phone and I descend on one of their songs Get yourself together heavily, I put it on repeat a couple of times and leave it to peruse other tracks. I’m currently in a trance as I hear pleasant instrumentals fighting for supremacy in the air, vocals coming from nowhere and crushing them, everything is without a doubt ear-worthy. I realise that their music shares similarities with some Afro-beat bands. The likes of Brooklyn Afro-beat band Antibalas, London Afro-beat band Osibisa and Fela Kuti’s Africa 70. I continue on my musical sojourn and I come upon a cross road; to my right, the sweet sensation of sleep and to my left the grandeur of the music. Suddenly, I wake up from sleep to continue to feel the ancestors on the songs. I get to the song Ipade Aladun, released in 1974 and I hear the piano play Rabiatu by Osibisa, released in 1971, and my mind registers a sample. I play Awareness Is Wot You Need and I can hear guitar chords that are at the beginning of Lagbaja’s Nothing for You, released in 2000 indicating that the masked singer sampled Monomono on his track. I go to another track titled E Je a Mura Sise and the drums play Osibisa’s Ayiko Bia. I ponder all these samples in my heart and a thought drives into my mind hitting it bumper to bumper, I must write a piece on sampling. I proceed to take that nap that earlier tempted me.
What is sampling?

     Sampling is a musical experiment, where an artist lifts up the work of another artist, be it lyrics, vocals, instrumental’s i.e. horns or chords and puts them on his or her song. Sampling makes the music world go round. Some hits wouldn’t have been birthed if not for other hits, sampling also draws the attention of a younger audience to a veteran artist who made nice tunes that they don’t know about. Artists that made evergreen songs that are sampled till date are payed royalties by the artists that sampled them. Sampling to a large extent brings out the facelessness of music. It connects the younger generation to the older generation. A lot of artists, if not all have sampled on their hits. It is not a thing of embarrassment; it helps the vibe. For example, many people wouldn’t have known about the greatness of Fela Kuti and Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson if Burna Boy and Flavour respectively had not sampled their works. Burna Boy even said recently that Fela Kuti paved the way for him. The late Afro-beat maestro was instrumental to Burna Boy’s balance diet Afro-fusion. I have decided to bestow myself with the authority of a lyrical official, The Sample Police to bring these artists to you, now you decide whether they did justice or didn’t do justice to these hits. These are a few songs by our favourite artists and the songs they were sampled from.

    Flavour, Nwa Baby: The Igbo highlife great sampled lyrics and chords from Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson’s hit song Sawale on his song Nwa Baby which is regarded as one of Flavour’s biggest songs, if not the biggest.

2. Flavour, To Be a Man: After Flavour discovered Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson’s music like Prince searching through boxes of Purple Rain, he could not help replicate the sound his own way. He took the chorus of Jolly Papa and put in his own words using the flow and To Be a Man was created. To Be a Man is off his Blessed album released to critical acclaim in 2012

3. Runtown, Baby Answer: Sound God, Runtown took a bite from The Peacocks International Guitar Band’s 1970s hit Eddie Quansa and his eyes were open like when Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit, he became Sound God and made Baby Answer which was his blowup song. He sampled the flow of the chorus, putting in his own words

4. Simi, Aimasiko: The beautiful vocalist awed by the resounding chorus in Chief Ebenezer Obey’s Aimasiko decided to replicate it. She left Ebenezer Obey’s voice in the background of the chorus though and created a hit. Aimasiko, was one of the lead songs in the songstress award winning album Simisola.

    5. Timaya, Dance ft Rudeboy: Papichulo and Egberi Papa 1 of Bayelsa State, Timaya seems to have been moved by veteran Blackky Inyang’s 1991 hit “Rosie” Can I have a dance as he replicated it on his 2017 single with Rudeboy Dance, jazzing it up to match the dancehall trend at that time. The song was nominated for Best Reggae/Dancehall single at the 2017 Headies.

    6. Tekno, Jogodo: Slim Daddy, Tekno needed to sample Danfo Driver’s hit Kpolongo to make a major hit after the singer recorded a run of sleeper hits. This was however frowned upon by the veterans who wanted to take him to court for not seeking their permission before sampling the song that got the streets ‘woke’ and moving. They however settled the issue later on. There was a rumuor that they decided not to sue the Pana crooner because he kept them quiet with money.

    7. Davido, Gobe: Omo Baba Olowo and 30BG boss Davido sampled his 2013 monster hit from an upcoming artist Password who has a song with a similar name. Password released his in 2011 and it appears he wasn’t happy with what Davido did. He came for him on twitter accusing him of intellectual property theft, threatening to sue him. However, they later settled the matter

    8. Olu Maintain, Cinderella ft 2face Idibia: Mr Yahooze, Olu Maintain was also infected with the sampling epidemic that affects all artists around the world. He sampled legendary Guitar Boy Victor Uwaifo’s mega hit Mami water on his 2015 2face Idibia assisted song Cinderella. This is probably the best sample I have heard.

    9. Wizkid, Joro: Starboy, who is known for sampling Fela Kuti at the heat of his songs couldn’t help himself again on Joro but the difference is this time around he used the Afro-beat giant’s famous “Joro Jara Joro” which he used in Zombie to create a chorus. He delivered this on an Afro-pop instrumental changing the whole landscape from Afro-beat to a lighter Afro-pop, which is more danceable to

    10. Rasqie, Soji: The mention of the name Rasqie might not ring a bell to many people especially the younger generation who are used to the Burna Boy’s and Rema’s of this world. Rasqie was signed to Kennis Music alongside the likes of Olu Maintain, Plantashun Boiz, Remedies, Trybesmen, Azadus, Kenny Saint Brown, KC Presh among others. His song Soji which was released in 2000 was a hit. It sampled the instrumental and flow of top American rapper DMXs Ruff Ryders Anthem, released in 1998.

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