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’s “You 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.