Sampling 101: Joe Cocker’s – Woman to Woman


Sampling 101:

Joe Cocker’s – Woman to Woman

Joe Cocker released his album “Joe Cocker” in November of 1972.  One of the songs that Hip-Hop heads would fall in love with was “Woman to Woman.”  The song was produced by Nigel Thomas and is one of Cocker’s most beloved records.  The piano/horn riff in the beginning of the track has been synonymous with Hip Hop since 1987.

Who Sampled It Best?

Ultramagnetic MC’s “Funky”

In 1987 the Ultramagnetic MC’s released their track “Funky” that sampled this dope riff and it was the first time the track was sampled in Hip Hop and in any genre as a matter of fact.  The track was sampled by Ced Gee and was included in one of the most important albums in Hip Hop history “Critical Beatdown“.

EPMD “Knick Knack Paddy Wack”

The next time we heard this piano riff was on EPMD’s posse cut “Knick Knack Paddy Wack” that was released off their second studio album “Unfinished Business”.  The track had Erick, Parrish and K-Solo flowing over this piano riff and passing the microphone while creating one of the craziest renditions of a nursery rhyme on wax!

Nice & Smooth “We Are #1” & “Harmonize”

Nice & Smooth has used this beat twice, first on “We Are #1” and then on “Harmonize“.  Nice & Smooth brought us harmonizing rhymes over funky Hip Hop beats and on “Harmonize” the perfect their style.  The sample is not as clear as the above two tracks, since it is chopped up in a smaller fragment.

Tupac & Dr Dre “California Love”

Lastly, we have the track that made Tupac Shakur a household name with not only Hip Hop heads, but with everyone who had a radio.  “California Love” was produced by Dr. Dre and was recorded right after 2Pac was released from jail.  Roger Troutman sings the hook and when this track is played at any gathering or party, it takes the festivities to another level!

Sampling 101: Joe Cocker’s – Woman to Woman

The question is, which track sampled it better?  Just because the Ultramagnetic MC’s used it first, doesn’t mean it can take the crown.  When you first hear how crisp the sample sounds on “California Love”, you know it has to be the answer to this question.  We also can’t forget how dope EPMD and K-Solo sounded on that classic posse cut, or the way the track was chopped on “Harmonize”.  So we ask you, the listener, what is your opinion?

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.









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