Sample Snitch: Kanye West-Power/King Crimson-21st Century Schizoid Man
We all know that hip hop has pillaged the catalog of Parliament Funkadelic, James Brown, The Isley Brothers and countless other soul/R&B acts. That’s how most of us learn about sampling. Someone plays The Isley Brothers song Between The Sheets and you stop cold like “this is Biggie…” face twisted in confusion. Sample Snitch is a column that seeks to shine the spotlight not on the super identifiable samples but the weirder ones that may have snuck past the standard listener.
Power is one of the most iconic lead singles in recent memory. At least half the reason for its 2010 success(and some of the success of the album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) goes back to the 1969 Progressive rock classic album In The Court of The Crimson King by King Crimson. King Crimson sound fresh as hell today. They were amongst the first to put some distance between themselves and the blues influence that trained The Rolling Stones or The Beatles.
On their debut In The Court of The Crimson King their sonic stew was fashioned to be as spooky as the insincere occult Zepplin vibe or Tony Iommi’s death march guitar work for Black Sabbath. It’s the first use of Jazz elements in Rock to further that spooky vibe (as far as I know, that could be me talking out of my butt). That sample leading the chorus on 21st Century Schizoid Man is something all hip hop fans are going to remember. I wrote this because I would love for all the fans that know how great Power is to know how crazy dope the original song that sample was pulled from is. You don’t have to take my word for it just press play.
21st Centurey Schizoid Man
Did you see that first lyric King Crimson shout out? Now you know.