8. “Represent” samples a silent film...yep.
We have to go way, way back to find the sample that “Represent” producer DJ Premier used to build the song. The 1924 silent film The Thief of Bagdad (sic) is actually the location of the oldest sample on Illmatic. But how can a silent film be used as a musical sample?
In the days of silent cinema, audiences watched their films and enjoyed the accompaniment of a live orchestra inside the theater. We're able to enjoy some of these songs (and the reason why DJ Premier ever stumbled across the record) because they were rerecorded by composers years later. Composer Lee Erwin’s theme, “The Thief of Bagdad,” was released on vinyl in 1974, and then somehow wound up in DJ Premier’s hands 20 years later. So in addition to celebrating 20 years of Illmatic, we're also celebrating the 90th birthday of this sample.