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Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Michael McDonald, Bob James et Warren G

As I stated in an earlier post, “Regulate” is my all time favorite record from the left coast.  In 1994 I was just getting started with my hip hop obsession, and the sound my ears were accustomed to at that point was Rza beats and Wu lyrics.  When I heard “Regulate” for the first time (Above The Rim soundtrack) I was captured by how melodic the vocals were and also the different style of production. Not to mention, it was the debut of Nate Dogg, who’s voice and delivery was unlike any artist I had heard before, especially on a hip hop record.  Even Warren G’s rap parts had tone to them, making the whole song feel like a long catchy hook.  The critics agree; the Grammy nominated record is a certified classic that raised the musical bar for West Coast hip hop.

First of all, Warren G on the beat, so let’s all stop sleeping on him as a producer.  Especially when he pulled off one of the greatest feats of combining samples in the history of the art form itself.  When initially hearing the song, I would have never guessed that the two main melodies in the beat were actually sampled from different records.  When “Regulate” begins we hear the high pitched lead from the 0:02 mark of Bob James’ “Sign Of The Times” combined with some keyboard overdubs.  Then when the beat drops at 0:20, Warren G brings in the 4 bar electric piano loop from “I Keep Forgettin” by Michael McDonald.  It’s not until 1:40 that we get to hear the two elements together, which work seamlessly in tempo and pitch.  This masterful manipulation of these two samples is just one of the special things going on in this all-time classic.  What have we learned?…”Rhythm is Life, and Life is Rhythm.”

via Kevin Casey Music

Michael McDonald – I Keep Forgettin’

Bob James – Sign of The Times

Warren G ft. Nate Dogg – Regulate

Bonus:

So cool cat named JP emailed me this De La Soul track which also samples Sign of The Times, enjoy.

De La Soul – Keepin The Faith