Why Am I So Offended By Just Blaze’s Haddaway Sample?

I lost all interest in Eminem after Relapse, but when he announced that Just Blaze was producing the bulk of the followup, I reluctantly got excited. Just Blaze, the man behind all the Roc-A-Fella classics, “Oh Boy” and most recently “Exhibit C.” This should be interesting, I thought.

Last night, Recovery leaked online and one of the first songs I heard was “No Love” which contains a prominent sample of Haddaway’s “What Is Love.” Utterly disturbed, I went on Twitter to cry about it and call out Mr. Blaze.

kz: why does eminem think it’s ok to sample a night at the roxbury? this beat sounds like someone made it as a joke.Tue Jun 08 00:48:22 via web

@justblaze “what is love”? why???Tue Jun 08 01:02:54 via web

@JustBlaze hard to take a song seriously when it reminds you of this http://bit.ly/5LYBxMTue Jun 08 01:18:19 via web

@MetalLungies thats ok. Plently of other people will love it. Apparenty many already doTue Jun 08 01:34:43 via Twittelator

@qtiptheabstract @chocboywunda and dj premier submitted beats for recovery and eminem picked a song with a haddaway sample. i hate rappers.Tue Jun 08 01:38:35 via web

I reacted similarly when T.I. sampled an Internet meme for his single. According to nerd rap doctrine, samples should be old and obscure enough to be archaeological discoveries, preferably from the other side of the world. We like to think of producers as wizards who live in caverns of vinyl and collect records like Pokemon cards. Sampling a 1993 dance song that became an SNL skit and eventually a movie (EMILIOOO!!) is just wrong.

But Just asks a valid question: Why not? What if I pretend I’ve never heard of Haddaway or A Night at the Roxbury and the sample is just another rare loop? Are my elitist perceptions about what’s OK to sample totally arbitrary? I’m sure there two bros rocking out to Weezy’s bars right now with no qualms about the sample. What about “Girls Ain’t Nothing but Trouble” which contains a sample of the I Dream of Jeannie theme? There are countless examples of “questionable” samples that get a pass for one reason or another.

I don’t have good answers to those questions. Ultimately, there are no rules to sampling, it’s just a matter of what sounds right at the time. “No Love” has grown on me a little bit (not much) since my initial disgust, but I can’t see how anyone can absorb what Eminem is trying to pull out of his soul without bobbing their head to the side like Chris Kattan.

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There are 12 comments

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  1. ScottyB

    I double checked the nerd rap doctrine and you’re right obscure samples are optimal, but optional. I think what trumps how rare a sample is could be how a producer flips it. And this is definitely a unique change in emotion.

    It doesn’t sound very corny, but the problem is that we associate SNL with the original song. Maybe in a year or two when you hear this sample you’ll think of Eminem returning to form as a ballistic MC.

  2. BG

    Of course, “Live Your Life” is also a Just Blaze track.

    I just wish the track was faster. For a sample of such a live track, it feels pretty limp.


    You are seriously acting like a little broad over this lol. It’s hip-hop, relax…

  4. Cameron Osteen

    Stop hating, man. Seriously. Either open up your mind now or go deaf for the rest of your life. In the real world we move forward. We don’t remain stagnant. Neither Eminem nor Just Blaze sound the way they did years ago and it is NOT a crime. As the legendary Jazz saxophonist, James Moody once said, “intelligent music grows”. You just need to grow up, deal with it, and stop bitching.

    And with that, I think I’m going to unsubscribe from your RSS feed.


  5. Derek Lipkin

    Anybody else think Lil Wayne is overrated?

    And that Eminem’s voice needs to drop back down a few octaves?

  6. MeGaVeLi

    Dude … you are on some shit! Just Blaze murdered the sample … I had this joint on str8 repeat for days! I love the fact that the sample reminds of the SNL skits! But this is a beat to be proud of … I cant even fatham how you could ask Just Blaze, why he used the sample … this track is str8 fire! And trust me … I’m a str8 BEAT-NUT! (Premier is my GOD) … but this beat (for me) … will be contender for top5 best beats of the year to me! The last few beats that made me feel that made me react this way in recent years were Danja Hand’s My Love (later stamped Timberland produced), LES and Wildfyer’s Black Republics (I LOVE the fact they sampled that scene from Godfather 2), and Premo’s Thank God for that White! The fact you think this beat was made as ‘joke’ … to me that makes it seem to be that you are the JOKE sir … and can’t appreciate a DOPE beat! And dont hate on me sir … I’m just speaking my opinion … I haven’t heard Just Blaze drop HEAT like this in a while … and for the record … how can you call Oh Boy a rocafella classic? That shit was wack … maybe not to general population … but to me! You could have come up with better examples imo of Just Blaze’s legendary tracks! One of my favs is Dec 4th or perhaps that Jay Z interlude beat … I think we got a different ear for beats … which is cool … but to call this beat a joke … you sir are on some shit! And im not one of those Eminem fanatics or anything … but he gets a 10/10 for delivery on that track … hands down!

    Dj01 Holla Atcha BOY!

  7. @Stellaskid

    > Are my elitist perceptions about what’s OK to sample totally arbitrary?

    Yes. Track is fiya, there’s nothing else to say after that. Cased closed….

  8. Marc Hughes

    I’m on your side with the sampling, but I think the difference is that I grew up with that music and a lot of folks that love the samples (any of the house samples that have found their way into hip-hop dance tracks lately) didn’t or really loved those songs. Jay-Z’s use of Alphaville’s Forever Young still gets under my skin, but it is what it is.

  9. b-psycho

    Honestly, I like the beat. And I was clicking play expecting to find it total garbage, but he worked it well. The verses, on the other hand, suck monkey balls.

  10. Haddafan

    Haddaway predates Night at the Roxbury by a long, long, time, my friend. This is not a sample of an “Internet meme”, as you put it.

  11. Scatterbrain

    making beats for me is Hank Shocklee saying “our songs consists of nothing but records” during an MTV interview while working on Son Of Bazerk’s LP. it’s De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising telling me “f*** james! you’re a kid who grew up on all kinds of music. use that!!!”. it’s Biz Markie’s “I Need A Haircut” getting shelved which quickly pushed me from sampling to chopping. it’s people getting tired of sampling (getting tired of getting sued or raped by giving up their publishing) and using live instruments. it’s people tired of live instruments (and “watered down rap/rap is making money now so we can afford to pay for samples) and going back to sampling. it’s whatever i happen to hear, chop up on the mp [and recently (rarely) Reason]. period. hip hop as far as the music is basically “you give me lemons, i’ll make champagne”. there is no set era of music you are supposed to use/sample. there is no specific genre of music to sample from. there is no set date you are to stop looking for samples. there is no set anything to any of this that we call hip hop music. sampling is essentially taking a sample of something you heard that caught your ear enough to make you HAVE to make a song out of it, and you do just that. like you said, there are no rules to this. if there was, there would be an endless list of songs that would not have been created. i wouldn’t even consider your opinion of this song coming from an elitist point of view IMO. i see it as a matter of you needing to understand where your supposed elitist perceptions come from as opposed to maybe loosening up the reins on those perceptions. every genre of music has people who think this way “(fill in the blank) music isn’t suppoed to be made like this! it’s supposed to be done this way!”
    whatever, B…

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