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Kanye West's Greatest Samples

by Dan Weiss

Kanye West's Greatest Samples


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For whatever reason -- hip-hop turning to electro-synth production, samples becoming too expensive -- Kanye is the last (and one of the all-time greatest) of a dying breed. His greatest tunes share the backbone of many other people's greatest, from the well-known (Jamie Foxx extending his Ray Charles star turn on "Gold Digger") to the deep cuts interpolating the well-known ("Hell of a Life" sneaking in Black Sabbath's "Iron Man") to the completely offbeat ("Drunk and Hot Girls" making something impossibly rude out of Can's "Sing Swan Song"). His good taste has been long-documented (Otis Redding on "Gone" and his Jay-Z trade-off "Otis," Gil Scott-Heron on "My Way Home" and "Who Will Survive in America?") as well as his engine for creative expansion (plucking Daft Punk from the ether on "Stronger," juxtaposing Chris Rock and Aphex Twin on "Blame Game"). Even the greatest is the sum of great parts.

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