Diggin’ In The Crates: The Sample In Common’s ‘Speak My Piece’

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

Common’s sense of rap is better than good. With a new home on No I.D.’s Def Jam imprint, Artium Records (Jhene Aiko, Elijah Blake and Cocaine 80s are also signees), the never-aging rapper has also kept his sample game as clean as his appearance. For his latest LP, Nobody’s Smiling, he kicks off the offering with a Curtis Mayfield sampling (old school is the new new school). Further in the album, the Chicago native steals a piece of Brooklyn and shows love…you know, the BK way.

Sample Identified: “Speak My Piece”

As First Heard On: The end of verse 1 on Notorious B.I.G.’s 2007 smash “Hypnotize” percolates throughout Comm’s record: “So I just speak my piece, keep my peace/ Cubans with the Jesus piece, with my peeps/ Packing, asking who want it, you got it nigga flaunt it/ That Brooklyn bullshit, we on it.”

Spin-off Sample: The Notorious One actually hijacked that hard-hitting opener note from Herb Alpert, an American trumpeter who released “Rise” in 1979, boasting that same exact sound. (Scroll to 3:12 below to hear it for yourself).

Other B.I.G. Sounds: “Hypnotize” also tipped its beret to Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick’s “La-Di-Da-Di,” forming its hook off Rick’s slick lines: “Ricky, Ricky, Ricky, can’t you see/ Somehow your words just hypnotize me/ And I just love your jazzy ways/ Oh MC Rick my love is here to stay.”

Special Shoutout: Nas teamed with Ludacris and Doug E. Fresh for their 2004 bar fest “Virgo”, which lifts the style and feels of “La-Di-Da-Di.”

Cop Common’s Nobody’s Smiling on iTunes here.