May 31, 2012

Know your hip-hop history: ”Nautilus” has been most famously sampled in Eric B. & Rakim's “Follow the Leader”, Run-D.M.C.'s “Beats to the Rhyme”, Ghostface Killah's “Daytona 500”, Soul II Soul's “Jazzie's Groove” and Jeru the Damaja's “My Mind Spray” amongst many others and the notes of “Nautilus'” bassline were played on a keyboard for Slick Rick's “Children's Story”. According to, “Nautilus” and “Take Me to Mardi Gras” have been sampled in thirty-two and forty-three hip-hop recordings, respectively. The song, “Take Me to the Mardi Gras” (written by Paul Simon) incorporates in its first four measures a bell and drum groove that is one of hip hop’s fundamental breakbeatsCrash Crew's “Breaking Bells (Take Me To The Mardi Gras)”, Run-D.M.C.'s “Peter Piper”, LL Cool J's “Rock the Bells”, the Beastie Boys' “Hold it Now, Hit it”, Missy Elliott's “Work It,”'s “I Got it from my Mama,”, “This Is Me (Urban Remix)” by girl group Dream for their debut album It Was All a Dream, “I Want You” from Common's Finding Forever, and most recently “Take It Back” from Wu-Tang Clan's 8 Diagrams.

Röyksopp sampled his version of the Stylistics song “You’re as Right as Rain” for their instrumental track “Eple.” The title track from his 1981 album Sign of the Times was sampled in De La Soul's “Keepin' the Faith”, and Warren G's “Regulate”. In addition, James is mentioned in a verse by André 3000 on “Black Ice” from Goodie Mob’s second album Still Standing

I detest that this wiki article even touches on the phrase “smooth jazz” but it’s important to get a closer look at the classic jam, Nautilus–– and keyboardist, arranger, producer, Bob James. It’s one I don’t think of too often or play on its own, yet it’s played a crucial role. Thanks to Kevin Reynolds for inspiring this post). 

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