It was around 4 years ago when I first heard “Oldie” by Odd Future – late to the party I know, and it was 2 years after that when I first got into Slick Rick. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, what came out of these unrelated events has left a lasting impression on the way I view music today. Let me explain. Halfway through Earl’s verse he drops the line “La di da di, back in here to fuck the party up”. Cut to 2021, I’m relistening to the track for the hundredth time and suddenly realize he’s referencing this guy Slick Rick who dropped a song called “La-Di-Da-Di” in the 90s. Essentially Earl flipped the line “La di da di we like to party” from the original on its head in an obscure reference which easily gets lost in the overall hype of that legendary verse. That experience made me realize how self-referential hip hop culture is, and I came out of it thinking about music differently.  

That being said, I guess that’s what I wanted to write this article about; how references to older songs in music today add a newfound depth to the listening experience. Listening to projects from artists like Kanye West and Tyler the Creator, we immediately see this idea that soulful bangers are consistently chopped up and featured in the production. This ability to curate and draw on older music in the production process has always fascinated me so I threw together a playlist of sampled songs which find themselves centre stage in the hits we love today. I hope you have as much fun as I did listening to these songs and ask yourself – where have I heard this before?



Featured Image by: Driely S


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