Hip Hop Facts #233: Samples edition.

Maile Carballo / KUTX

Every week as part of our Saturday night hip hop show The Breaks, hosts Confucius and Fresh present facts about the culture of hip hop and R&B that you might not have known.

Check out the full episode and the podcast.

Disclaimer: None of these facts have been fact-checked so might in fact be false. Read at your own risk.

#1 – Kriss Kross was originally a trio.

  • Jermaine Dupree says that their name was even inspired by the third member, whose name was also Chris.
  • JD did not elaborate on what happened to the third member. He probably didn’t have time because he was scheduled for some A&R work interrogating teenagers at the mall.

# 2 Rick James did not know MC Hammer had sampled “Superfreak” until he randomly heard “Can’t Touch This” on the radio.

  • James subsequently sued MC Hammer and made more money than he ever did before in his career.

# 3 Vanilla Ice tried to convince Freddy Mercury and the rest of Queen that “Ice Ice Baby” did not sample “Under Pressure.”

  • Unfortunately for Vanilla Ice, his testimony did not hold up to judicial scrutiny despite its merits.

# 4 – After hearing his song sampled in Arrested Development’s “Tennesee,” Prince called and gave the group an ultimatum.

  • Prince waited for the song to top the charts before he called to propose a $100,000 flat fee. No songwriting credit or royalties, just the money.
  • All things considered, Prince’s offer was extremely reasonable. As if we needed more evidence of Prince’s greatness.

# 5 – Many late 80s and early 90s video game soundtracks sampled, or were heavily “inspired” by R&B hits of the time.

  • Anyone who played the first two Sonic the Hedgehog games knows how good the soundtracks are, and now you know why!

# 6 – Prince refused to clear Alicia Keys’ sample of Purple Rain because he did not own most of the song.

  • Despite loving her song, Prince nonetheless declined because he, “did not want to send those white kids through college” knowing that the record executives would line their pockets with the royalties.

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