Diggin’ In The Crates: The Sample In The-Dream’s ‘Outkast’

A super brief history on the samples used in that song you can’t get out of your head

The-Dream’s formula for singles is simple: some sangin’, some Hard&B beats and a lot of XXX-rated lines. Since rocking that thing in 2007, the producer-singer-songwriter (real name Terius Nash) redefined sex symbol on the mic, churning out hits like the blunt lady-swiper “I Luv Your Girl” and sexy time knocker “Falsetto.” His hood yet smooth pen game eventually landed him bylines for the likes of Rihanna, Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Jay Z. (He and longtime collaborator Christopher “Tricky” Stewart were responsible for Rih’s 2007 smash “Umbrella.”) All this a hefty accomplishment for the scribe who landed a publishing deal after writing boy band B2K’s “My Everything.” Nowadays, the Radio Killa continues to pump out music that satisfy both his Stans and woman’s needs. On his EP, Royalty: The Prequel (which dropped July 7), the newly married multi-hyphenate spits a good game while staying true to his reality. He praises his lady’s fat ass and thick thighs on “Pimp C Lives” and celebrates his third walk down the aisle on “Wedding Bells”.

One of the more repeatable joints on Royalty, though, comes in the form of “Outkast,” a come-hither tune for the X chromosome set that also serves as a middle finger to “pussy n-ggas” and a tribute to the feels he got when he first heard OutKast. His crass lexicon balances out the snappy melody that ’80s babies instantly recognize as a flip on Mary J Blige’s “My Life” off the classic 1994 album of the same name.
Mary J Blige-My Life by Idil2024 Here, Mary takes a more pensive approach. (Sample line “We all are struggling/ I know it is hard/ But we will get by”) While battling drug addiction and an abusive relationship with K-Ci Hailey of Jodeci, MJB pushed out her second studio effort, chock full of chest-clutching heartache. The pain paid off as My Life was deemed her breakthrough album, holding on to the no. 1 spot for Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for eight weeks and certified 3x platinum in 1995.
Roy Ayers – Everybody Loves The Sunshine by PeteRock Ironically, the somber song is a play on Roy Ayers sunny track “Everybody Loves The Sunshine”, off the namesake LP born in 1976. The Febreze fresh melody is what makes it as Roy and female vocalist Chano O’Ferral harmonize on simple lines like “Everybody loves the sunshine” and “Just bees and thangs and flowers” repetitively. The popular tune has been swiped from many in rap like Dr. Dre, Mos Def and Common. However, it’s Mary’s soulful take that gives it life.—Adelle Platon (@adelleplaton)