One of the things that seduced me into DJ’ing the most in the 90′s was this concept of collecting, discovering, identifying, and sharing breaks with others of the same passion. It was also the days of flipping through dusty record stores, bumping into samples by accident, and delving into a musicians’s body of work on a deeper level.


Minnie Ripperton (1975) “Inside my Love”, sampled for A Tribe Called Quest “Lyrics To Go” (1993)
David Axelrod “A Divine Image”, sampled for Kool G Rap f/ B1 & MF Grimm “Take ‘Em to War” (1995)

Times have changed, and the internet has helped (or hurt) the art of the journey. Instead of “pass-me-down” folklore from one music nerd to another, the next generation of music-philes has a few cheats sheets to get whatever answer they need in a jif — from Google to Shazam — thereby lifting any element of mystery and secrecy to the art of evolving into a slow study master. I’m not knocking the new tools. I just think it’s a different ride, thats all.

Nonetheless, the classics are still the classics. I saw this article online and thought I’d share it with anyone getting into the game now. It is a clever countdown of the Top 50 Breaks in hip hop history, complete with audio examples and commentary from Kon and Amir who are 2 veteran record collectors, DJ’s and Producers.


The Meters “Look-ka Py Py”, sampled for Cypress Hill “The Phuncky Feel One” (1991). Produced By DJ Muggs. Skull Snaps “Its a New Day”, sampled for Stezo “It’s My Turn” (1989). Produced By Stezo & Paul C. Skull Snaps was also sampled by Pharcyde’s classic Passin’ Me By, along with Quincy Jones’ Summer in the City.


James Brown, “Mind Power”, sampled for De La Soul f/ Mos Def & Truth Enola’s “Stakes Is High (Remix)” (1996). Produced By J. Dilla. Also, James Brown, “Funky President”, sampled for Eric B. & Rakim “Eric B. is President” (1986). Produced By Eric B. & Marley Marl.

To read the piece for yourself, go to: Complex’s 50 Greatest Samples in Hip Hop.