Sampling 101: Issac Hayes – Joy

Who Sampled It Best ?

Sampling 101:

Issac Hayes – Joy

Isaac Hayes.  Is there a more iconic soul singer?  This man started singing the blues, then evolved to jazz, funk, soul and even messed around with a little disco.  His sixth album Joy started things off with a song called “Joy”.  The song starts off as one of most majestic things I ever heard.   What sounds like an orchestra and a jazz band sets the tone over that iconic bassline.   Then his instantly recognizable voice starts singing.  Hip hop would soon take notice of this ballad and began sampling with varying results. Let’s check a couple of them out.

Isaac Hayes – Joy

Who Sampled It Best ?

1. CPO – Ballad of a Menace

As we stepped into the 90’s, hip hop was going through a bit of a change.  Like Common so eloquently stated in “I Used to Love H.E.R.”,

she broke to the West coast

NWA stormed on the scene in 88 and as the new decade started, different groups began to spawn from The Ruthless crew.  Enter C.P.O. or Capital Punishment Organization.  MC Ren founded the group and Lil Nation was the main MC.  To Hell and Black was the debut album released in 1990.  It was mediocre at best, but did release one fire single, “Ballad of a Menace” and featured one of my favorite rhymes from MC Ren.   The song uses “Joy” as its foundation while DJ Train adds some scratches and cuts up a vocal sample from Ice Cube on the hook.  This is pure dope!!!  “Ballad of a Menace”  is forever immortalized in video game history as it recently landed on the West Coast Classics radio channel on GTAV.

CPO feat. MC Ren – Ballad of a menace

2. Spice 1– Money or Murder

A couple years later, Spice 1 would release his self titled debut.   He instantly caught attention of fans across the country with his various hood tales over old school R&B and funk samples.   I can go on and on about how bangin this album is, but one song in particular caught my ear.  “Money or Murder” was a tale about a trip to the liquor gone wrong.  As soon as you hear, you instantly are reminded of the Menace II Society scene in the liquor store.   Ant Banks perfectly crafted a production based on “Joy”.  This version was slowed down with a few high pitched keyboard notes scattered throughout and was the perfect backdrop to the violent tale.

Spice 1 – Money or Murder

3. Inspectah Deck – Uncontrolled Substance

Inspectah Deck got his time to shine in 1999 when he finally released his debut Uncontrolled Substance.  This lyrical beast drafted the legendary Pete Rock to create “Trouble Man.”  While Spice 1 and CPO’s version sounded similar, Pete Rock decided to go another direction.  He completely dissected “Joy” and created something different.  The Soul Brother even added some butter soft singing from an R&B angel on the hook.  A refreshing take on a frequently used sample in hip hop.

Inspectah Deck – Trouble Man

Sampling 101: Issac Hayes – Joy

Ballad of a Menace” did it best!

Ballad of a Menace” is the best use of the sample.  It was approachable and not to dark and ominous. The scratching throughout just solidified this as a great hip hop song.

Now there are a ton of other artists from across the country who sampled this timeless track.  Comptons Most Wanted used this track on their debut album.  DJ Magic Mike merged Miami Bass and pieces from “Joy.”  Mobb Deep and Ma$e both used this familiar backdrop.  There are plenty others.   But me answer this, whether your choice is above or not… Who Sampled It Best?

Who Sampled It Best? is a weekly column that delves into the background of sampling and Hip-Hop culture by taking a deeper look at it’s roots.

Have a suggestion? Hit us up with your favorite tracks that used the same sample and we’ll break it down.

Sampling 101: Issac Hayes – Joy

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts