Many people don’t really appreciate the use of samples in music, presuming that it is nothing but a lazy way of doing things – as if they can’t come up with anything original of their own. And yet there can be something quite clever about using a sample of an older song to help create something that is new and fresh. Of course, that is for the listener to decide!
Anyroads, here we will look at ten songs performed by famous actor and rap star Will Smith and look at some of the samples he used in some of his famous songs!
(Image via Wikipedia)
Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
The DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince song Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble was released on their 1987 debut album Rock The House. The previous year it had been their debut single release, reaching a peak of number 57 in the US and number 21 in the UK. The sample the song uses is the theme tune to the 1960’s Television show I Dream Of Jeannie!
Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Released in the Summer of 1991, Summertime gave DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince their biggest hit. It became their only top 10 hit in the US, reaching a peak of number 4. It also reached the top ten in the UK, hitting a peak of number 8. The song Summertime is a re-imagining of the 1974 song Summer Madness by Kool And The Gang.
Ring My Bell – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Taken from their album Homebase, Ring My Bell was the follow up single to Summertime, reaching a peak of number 20 in the US but stalling at number 53 in the UK charts. The song samples the 1979 Anita Ward hit of the same name!
Boom! Shake The Room – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Released in the Summer of 1993, Boom! Shake The Room gave DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince a number 13 hit in the US. In the UK though it fared much better, reaching the number one spot! On the sample front, Boom! Shake The Room is a double whammy as it samples both the Ohio Players song Funky Worm and the Kris Kross song Jump!
Men In Black – Will Smith
By 1997 Will Smith had branched out on his own music wise. This song here was taken from the Will Smith movie of the same name and also became a huge hit around the world, reaching the number one spot on Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The song that this samples is the 1982 Patrice Rushen song Forget Me Nots!
Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It – Will Smith
Released in 1998, Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It gave Will Smith another massive hit around the globe. It reached a peak of number 3 in the UK but made it all the way to the number one spot in the US. Another double whammy when it comes to the samples used for this song – The Bar Kays song Sang And Dance and the Sister Sledge song He’s The Greatest Dancer are re-worked in this one!
Just The Two Of Us – Will Smith
Less of a sample on this one and more of a re-working of the Bill Withers and Grover Washington Jr’s song of the same name with different lyrics. Will Smith scored a US number 20 and UK number 2 hit with this one.
Miami – Will Smith
Released in late 1998, Miami gave Will Smith a number 17 hit in the US and a number 3 hit in the UK. The song that this one samples is the 1979 Whispers hit And The Beat Goes On!
Wild Wild West – Will Smith
Another film tie in song for Will Smith as it was the theme track for the 1999 film of the same name. It became the second number one hit for Will Smith in the US, but only made it to number 2 in the UK. The song that it samples is the Stevie Wonder hit I Wish!
Will 2K – Will Smith
Released just in time for the upcoming millennium, this 1999 Will Smith song reached a peak of number 25 in the US and number 2 in the UK. It heavily samples the Clash song Rock The Casbah but also uses samples from the Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five song Superappin!