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Now Let’s Talk About Sampling In The Nigerian Music Space

By March 2016, half the world was furiously dabbing to Desiigner’s monster hit ‘Panda’. But just about a month before, no one even knew he existed. Not until Kanye stumbled upon the hard-hitting jam, initially released in December 2015, and chopped it on ‘Father Stretch My Hands pt 2’ off his seventh studio album, “The Life Of Pablo.” People fished out this scene-stealing sample track in no time and started spinning it across clubs and dance floors.

In just a couple of weeks, the song was number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Desiigner the first rapper since Iggy Azalea to secure the coveted spot with a debut single. ‘Panda’ spent a total of seventeen weeks in the top-tens and even went on to score a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance. Kanye had unwittingly ushered the young star to the world just by sampling his music.

In recent times, however, Nigeria’s globetrotting star Burna Boy has gotten the stick from his countrymen for sampling Fela and Angelique Kidjo’s music. Many have used his recurrent interpolation of their lyrics to quibble about his artistry and originality. But a quick look at the credits of your favourite songs would reveal that this is a “crime” most musicians are guilty of. In fact, it’s no crime at all as long as permission is sought and due credits are given.

The process simply includes reworking the elements of older songs in the creation of new ones. Old songs and sounds are sometimes blended with new ones, thereby giving them new lives and sparking nostalgia. And just like in the case of Desiigner’s ‘Panda’, songs containing samples have helped introduce lesser-known songs and acts to a new and wider audience.

From 2pac’s ‘California love’ to Biggie’s ‘Juice’ down to Watch The Throne’s ‘Otis’, some of hip-hop classics are built off samples. Even ‘Mortal Man’, the closing track off Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed album “To Pimp A Butterfly” features a Fela sample.

Now that we’ve established sampling as a standard practice, here is a list of some of your favourite Nigerian songs and the records they sampled or interpolated.

  1. Odunsi – Desire [Baba Dee – Gum Body]
  2. Mut4y x Wizkid – Manya [V.I.P – Ahomka Womu]
  3. Odunsi – Wetin Dey [Ruff Rugged and Raw – Wetin Dey]
  4. Wizkid – Sweet Love [Fela Anikulapo Kuti – Shakara]
  5. Olamide – 100 to Million [Rick Ross x Drake x French Montana – Stay Schemin]
  6. DMW x Davido x Dremo x Mayorkun x Peruzzi – Mind [Usher – Caught Up]
  7. Simi – Joromi [Sir Victor Uwaifo – Joromi]
  8. Santi x Bridge x Nonso Amadi – Freak [Ikechukwu – Shobedobedoo]
  9. T Classic x Mayorkun x Peruzzi – Where You Dey [Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are]
  10. Lady Donli – Suffer Suffer (Mama G – National Cake]
  11. Dami Oniru – See [Adewale Ayuba – Bubble]
  12. Remedies – Shakomo [MC Lyte – Keep On]
  13. 9ice – Photocopy [Craig David – Walking Away]
  14. Falz – Johnny [Fela – JJD]
  15. Dremo Nobody [M.I Abaga x 2baba]
  16. Wizkid – Holla At Your Boy [7even x Lil Kim – Girls]
  17. Burna Boy – Ye [Fela Kuti – Shuffering And Shmiling]
  18. Paybac Iboro – Boy Band [The Funkees – Acid Rock]
  19. Simi – Aimasiko [Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey – Aimasiko]
  20. Santi x Amaarae x Shane Eagle – Rapid Fire [Lyn Collins – Think About It]

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