Why Sylvia Striplin Is Important To Hip Hop

Some samples used in hip hop songs are brilliant. Naughty By Nature’s “Hip Hop Hooray” is an excellent example. The full version of the song begins with a ham-handed sample of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.” There’s little creativity on that point but you have to give it up for the use of an almost-hiccuping voice — a snippet of less than a second — repeated throughout the song. The first instance of the sample is at 20 seconds in on the YouTube link above. Such a small part of the song that, for me, gives a big payoff.

The sample is from Sylvia Striplin’sYou Can’t Turn Me Away.” The song was the B-side of a record from a somewhat obscure R&B/jazz artist. This begs the question as to why some producer thought a snippet of this obscure song could add something special to an otherwise infectious hip hop anthem. I don’t think there is an explanation; however, remove the sample and “Hip Hop Hooray” loses its vibe.

The sample in the Naughty By Nature song is sounds even more brilliant when compared to the ham-handed use of the Striplin song in Notorious B.I.G/Junior M.A.F.I.A. hit, “Get Money.” [NSFW] The difference between “Hip Hop Hooray” and “Get Money” isn’t subtle. The former demonstrates artistry and the latter seems almost as an attempt to ride the coattails of a well-crafted Naughty By Nature anthem. So throw your hands up for Ms. Sylvia Striplin and wave them side-to-side for Naughty By Nature’s creative use of her vocal.

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