(Note: It’s a very exciting day for YHT — my friend and lifetime guru in the ways of hip hop J. Clyde has written the first in a recurring series of guest posts entitled “Original vs. Sample,” where he looks at the origin of samples found in his favorite tunes. Graphic and title subject to change.)


I’ve been thinking about a few things for the guest spot and one of them is my friend/mentor/hero/fellow Norfolk native Nottz. You might not know much about him, but trust me, you’ve heard his music countless times…”Barry Bonds” by Kanye West, anyone? I’ll let the Wikipedia/google/youtube search leave you in awe instead of running down his iconic discography for you here.

Anyway, I just found this sample he used the other day for one of my current favorite jams (“Break Bread” by Nottz & Asher Roth). The word “genius” is thrown around far too loosely these days, but Nottz is a musical genius. Trust me, I have spent many nights watching him work in his studio and he blows me away every single time. He is the only person I have ever known that I truly believe is doing EXACTLY what God put him on Earth to do. I think this example will show you that.

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13 Chambers

When I say “Vacation in Duck, North Carolina,” you say “RAP MUSIC!!” Wait… what? Normally the soundtrack for my family’s annual trip to the Outer Banks consists of classic rock, a little metal (thanks to bro-in-law Brian) and Roy Orbison, who made waves a few years back when my mom demanded he be silenced because he was making her “tense.” It was a priceless moment. She’s had a whole new reason to be tense this year, because some great hip-hop was been filling the beach week air. I wrote about Drake’s new tunes on Monday, and yesterday I finally dipped into something my friend Travis told me about via email a few days ago — Wugazi. This amazingly fun mashup album, entitled 13 Chambers, features very tightly clipped samples from Wu-Tang Clan and Fugazi, and it kept me alive during an unreasonably hot and humid run along NC Highway 12. Though I’ve never listened to Fugazi at length, and am only a novice Wu-Tang fan, craftsmanship is what shines through most clearly on 13 Chambers, which makes sense, given that the project’s website describes the album as a year-long “labor of love.” I’m very glad Travis sent me the link, because even more than good running music, or a way to make my mom tense during the traditional 5-7pm cocktail hour, Wugazi has given me 13 excellent reasons to revisit and learn more about these two legendary groups. Check out/download the whole thing below.



I didn’t go nuts for Drake’s last album, Thank Me Later but I kinda did. I just didn’t realize it. Even though I never sat down and listened to the album all the way through (and still haven’t), so many songs on the album squirmed their way into my consciousness via remixes, the radio (What? I still listen to the radio sometimes… don’t look at me like that) and ya know, just being out in tha cluuub. Part of my initial reluctance came from his sounding like Lil Wayne — I already had one Weezy in my life, and things were doing just fine thankyouverymuch. However, my friend J Clyde recently enlightened me as to the true nature of the two rappers’ sonic likeness. Apparently, it’s widely accepted that Drake may have … ahem … coached I MEAN “helped” I MEAN worked closely with (we’ll go with that) Weezy on some lyrics early in their careers, so really, Wayne sounds like Drake, not the other way around. Quite the bombshell. That fact, plus the amazing Drake/James Blake mashup, have me very excited for Drake’s upcoming album, Take Care. We’d already heard “Marvin’s Room,” a dark and brooding song about drunk-dialing people (OK, so that may be a bit reductive. Gimme a break, I’m on vacation this week), but over the weekend, the interweb brought us a much more swagger-packed tune, “Headlines.” Though it still hints at Drake’s characteristic broodiness, “Headlines” is a triumphant, top-of-the-game banger, and I’m really enjoying it. Chekkit below.