Hip-hop History: “These are the breaks!”

Understanding hip-hop just isn’t not possible with understanding its origins, to include the samples used from soul and funk, in order to understand its cadences and bounce. Arguably two of the most important and ubiquitous songs/samples in the history of music, I can absolutely guarantee you’ve heard Amen Break and Funky Drummer – whether in American, European, or Desi culture and beyond – in songs, movies, and commercials.

The two samples (or breaks) – derived from The Winstons’ “Amen Brother” and James Brown’s “Funky Drummer” (featuring drummer Clyde Stubblefield) – representing the early foundations of rap, jungle, and drum & bass.

Here are a couple of videos providing you with some background. (Skip to the last one, if you’d like to down and dirty immediately.)

And another…

And another – that includes “Funky Drummer” and “Funky President” and many more breaks. This is a quick and easy rundown of entirely essential samples, for which I highly recommend those new, not familiar with the deeper origins of hip-hop. Find these tracks, post haste!