When Barry White’s essence left this earth on
the morning of July 4th, a large chunk of music history was lost. Not just R&B,
Soul or whatever you feel like calling it. All music.
His contributions to R&B music are common knowledge,
but sadly many a hip-hop head is unaware of the influence Barry White had on
the music we love and bump.
The lush, orchestral instrumentation he was known
for lacing with his panty moisturizing baritone, have been the ingredients for
many a hip-hop producer’s hit records.
After his passing I was digging through my collection
(vinyl of course you suckas!) and picked out the following choice cuts that
have been sampled over the years. I know.
Technically I am dry snitching (sorry DJ Premier,
please forgive) but think of this as an education for the uninformed.
Rest in peace Barry White; one of the only brothers
that could sport a perm with respect.
Love Unlimited “Under the Influence of Love” Love Unlimited-not to be
confused with Love Unlimited Orchestra-was a crooning trio of Afro’d soul sisters
put together by Mr. White. The songs haunting opening strings and climactic
drums have been borrowed a few times. Black Rob absolutely murdered it as the
foundation for “I Dare You”. But another Harlem cat, Cam’Ron, did his thing
on it with his dog DMX on “Pull It.” Cam’s label at the time couldn’t clear
the sample but it was a mixtape winner.
Love Unlimited “I Did it for Love” Another hard to find gem from Love
Unlimited which Barry White produced and arranged. Deric “D-Dot” Angelettie
(you know, The Madd Rapper), slowed down the opening bars of the slick guitars
and added crisp drum programming to create “The Benjamins”. Even P. Diddy sounds
hot spittin’ over that beat.
Love Unlimited Orchestra “Midnight Groove” You’d be a fool to think that
Barry couldn’t get funky. Love Unlimited Orchestra is the 40 piece band Barry
created. It made his sonic visions a reality. The typical lush and melodic rhythms
meet up with some collard green grooves for this number. The treat is about
a minute and half into the song when the break comes in crystal clear. DJ Scratch
knew what was up because he barely had to add anything to the loop to create
Flipmode Squad’s “Cha Cha Cha”.
Barry White “Playing Your Game Baby” This track is so ill Evil Dee basically
only had to loop this to make a winner for Black Moon’s “I Gotcha Open Remix”.
Evil Dee got his money’s worth for this sample since he used most of the songs
elements, from the opening horns to the spacey organs and guitars. The groove
was definitely not too underground to make you stop when you mingled. Brooklyn
Barry White “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby” It’s the sick
opening drums coupled with hypnotic chords that make this track tasty like extra
syrup on candied yams. You get extra cool hiphop points if you already knew
that De La Soul flipped this on “De La Orgy” from the debut 3 Feet High and
Rising. This is another one of those tracks that barely needs to get touched
since it’s so damn banging on its own. Ghostface and Raekwon went berserk when
they spit over a looped version (they even left some of Barry’s vocal’s in there)
for “The Watch,” another gem limited due to sample clearance problems. Also,
Alchemist flipped it for Nas to get busy to on “No Idea’s Original” from The
Barry White “It’s Only Love Doing Its Thing” Now this is creative sampling
for that ass! If you miss the first 2 seconds of the song then you will have
missed it. Producer on the come up Dirty Swift chopped and extended the opening
guitar lick to create 50 Cent’s “21 Questions.” The answers? A lot of radio,
video and anything else play.
Love Unlimited Orchestra “Love’s Theme” Now I’m not sure who sampled
this (what, you expect me to know everything?) but if no one has (doubtful),
I need to wipe the dust off my MPC2000. The slick wah wah guitar on this instrumental
track is head nodder’s bliss.
Barry White “It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me” Queen of HipHop
Soul Mary J. Blige had Barry White to thank for her smash hit “You Bring Me
Joy” off of her My Life album. Play this record from the beginning and
everyone will think it IS Mary’s version until Barry’s voice kicks in “When
we met ” This is one of those records a DJ always wins with if he plays it at
And this little note about Barry’s influence
was written by none other than legendary DJ, Grandmaster Flash. Here’s
what he told AllHipHop.com:
"I myself was cuttin up Barry, before I
had an MC. Coming from a HI-FI era, Barry White’s music was my first technical
understanding of STEREO. It was during these year I was creating what DJ’s do
on turntables now. This was much earlier than the MC’s or the breakdancers.
Please keep these historical facts in mind."