Skip navigation
'Nautilus' Beat Battle: Judged by 9th Wonder

'Nautilus' Beat Battle: Judged by 9th Wonder

You can't go wrong with needle-dropping 'Nautilus.' From the drums by Idris Muhammad to that iconic bassline by Gary King; enter this Beat Battle to have a go with a true sampling classic. You might win personal feedback by none other than 9th Wonder...

By Tracklib

This competition has officially ended and any further submissions will be disregarded. Thank you to all who submitted and best of luck—we will now leave them, and the selection process, in the hands of 9th Wonder. Winners are expected to be announced in May: subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media to stay tuned!

contentmedia/ef8218e1-8c93-402b-871e-4f49ae5f3444.png cover art
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track(1 credit)
0:00 · 5:05

“Flippin’ Bob James’ ‘Nautilus’ is a rite of passage for a producer."

—9th Wonder

'Nautilus' by Bob James is a monumental track for hip-hop. The deepsea groove is one of the most sampled tracks—ever. From "Beats to the Rhyme" by Run DMC to "Extradite" by Freddie Gibbs featuring Black Thought, and from Ghostface Killah's "Daytona 500" to Danny Brown's "Pac Blood". And the list goes on: A Tribe Called Quest, Mary J. Blige, Eric B. & Rakim... Sampled by many, loved by all.

It’s time to add your name to that line of hip-hop history. To celebrate that 20+ tracks of Bob James’ vast catalog is now available on Tracklib, we invited praised producer 9th Wonder to judge a Beat Battle with one of his all-time favorite sampling gems: ‘Nautilus. A track he masterfully flipped himself on MURS' "Murray's Revenge".

9th Wonder & Bob James on sampling and getting sampled

In this one-on-one conversation, 9th Wonder and Bob James discuss sampling from both sides of the spectrum. Talking about the “miracle” of being sampled, all the way to what makes ‘Nautilus’ so great to producers to this day.

"I hope I did a good job to convey what you mean to us [in hip-hop culture]", 9th Wonder tells Bob James near the end of the conversation. "For us, we just want to be the bridges to the next generation. So that people like yourself and the ones that came before us can live on in so many different ways. To the point that a 14-year-old asks what [samples] I use, and I tell them. Next thing you know, they get back home and have access to Apple Music to discover all music with your name on it…” That's when 9th Wonder bursts into pure joy and excitement when Bob James asks him when they are going to work together. Beaming from ear to ear as if a boyhood hip-hop dream comes true—indeed connecting different generations.

"I could've made my double-LP Just by samplin' different parts of Nautilus"

—Nas (lyric from 'Carry On Tradition')

How it works

  1. Make a beat by sampling 'Nautilus' by Bob James
  2. Upload a video of your beat to Instagram (max 60 seconds) before the end of the day, Sunday the 14th of March, 2021 (all timezones included)
  3. Include your Tracklib account username or email in the description of the Instagram post
  4. Tag the video with #tracklibbeatbattle
  5. Tag at least two producer friends in your post who shouldn't miss out on this Beat Battle
  6. Follow Tracklib on Instagram

contentmedia/ef8218e1-8c93-402b-871e-4f49ae5f3444.png cover art
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track(1 credit)
0:00 · 5:05

You are only allowed to share a 60-second version of your track online as part of this competition. To share or release a complete track you need to purchase a sample license.



  • A one-on-one online feedback session with 9th Wonder (Value: priceless)
  • A category B clearance of your track sampling 'Nautilus'(Value: $500)
  • Native Instruments' MASCHINE+ (Value: $1573)
  • Native Instruments' Komplete 13 (Value: $721)
  • Native Instruments' expansions CRATE CUTS, Soul Magic & Faded Reel (Value: $177)
  • A one-year Tracklib Standard subscription (Value: $168)
  • A shout-out from 9th Wonder himself (Value: priceless)




You need to download 'Nautilus' from Tracklib in order for your entry to be valid and submitted to 9th Wonder. Yes, we will check.

Your Instagram profile needs to be public for us to be able to see your post. Only entries from profiles following Tracklib, using #tracklibbeatbattle and with at least two friends tagged will be entering the competition.

You can submit however many entries you'd like—as long as they all follow the rules.

Your music is still yours. We do not own any of the entries to this competition and will not use them for any other advertising purposes. We might, however, repost your track(s) to promote the competition itself.

You can use any royalty-free sounds, besides from 'Nautilus' in your track—but nothing else that needs to be cleared.

The first prize will be awarded a full sample license to monetize their work for free. The winner will, however, still have to pay the original rightsholders their share (5%, 15% or 25% depending on sample time) of any potential revenue earned on the new song.

The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable and will be added to the winners Tracklib account.

If you have any further questions about the rules of this competition - just ask. We're here to help:

Start your free 14-day trial

Start now and get 7 free track downloads.
No commitment - cancel your plan at any time.



We are unfortunately unable to offer support in the comments. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here!