All Samples on Kendrick Lamar's 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers'


All Samples on Kendrick Lamar's 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers'

As if a new album by Kendrick Lamar isn’t enough to be excited about, wait till you find out the sample on “Father Time” was found and cleared on Tracklib. This feature breaks down all the samples on ‘Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.’ With production work by The Alchemist, Boi-1da, Pharrell Williams, singular pianist/producer Duval Timothy, and long-time collaborators Sounwave & DJ Dahi.




May 13, 2022

On the contemplative “Father Time,” Kendrick Lamar reflects on his childhood and his relationship with his father: “Everything he didn't want was everything I was.” London-based singer Sampha joins him on the second verse, in which Kendrick reflects on his growth as the man he is today—also as a father himself since 2019, with a newborn shown on the cover art of Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, revealing a family of four. Production duties for "Father Time" are credited to DJ DahiBeach NoiseBekonDuval TimothySounwave, and Victor Ekpo.

The Sample on “Father Time” (Found & Cleared on Tracklib)

"To me, sampling records is a really dope thing because it's like digging for gold,” DJ Dahi said in an interview with NPR. “You find that nugget, and it's like, 'Oh wow, this is dope! This sounds fresh.’” By scouring the only song by Hoskins 'Ncrowd on Tracklib, the producers of "Father Time" surely found a rare gem. “You’re Not There” appeared on the only 45-inch release by the R&B and soul group around singer Leroy Hopkins. The song was produced by soul singer and Soft Soul Records owner Kenni Jones, who got in touch with music through his father, who sang with Sam Cooke.

Sample Breakdown of "Father Time"

“It’s the way you chop a record, the way you get a groove, the way you can rearrange a record... Sampling allows for new ideas, so I still sample.”

—DJ Dahi

New Ways of Sampling

“For a while, I stopped sampling,” DJ Dahi told Red Bull Music Academy in 2017. “When I did [Kendrick Lamar’s] “Money Trees,” I realized that you don’t make a lot of money sampling because they’ll take a big part of your publishing and you’re like, ‘Oh shit, I ain’t making no money,’ so I had to find new ways of sampling.”

Enter Tracklib: the sample on "Father Time" was discovered and officially cleared and licensed through Tracklib, to get fair shares into both the producers' pockets and to the original rightsholders.

Kendrick Lamar (Photo by Renell Medrano)

All Samples on Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers’

Kendrick Lamar - We Cry Together (Prod. by Bekon, J.LBS and The Alchemist)

"We Cry Together" is a song in the form of an argument between Kendrick Lamar and a woman (voiced by actress Taylour Paige), backed by a sample of "Valentine" by double bassist Gary Peacock, pianist Art Lande, and drummer Eliot Zigmund. The song was part of their 1980 record Shift In The Wind as a jazz trio on ECM Records. Next to that, the song samples Florence + The Machine's "June."

Die Hard (Prod. by DJ Dahi, FNZ, Hykeem Carter, J.LBS & Sounwave)

"Die Hard" features two bits of vocals taken from "Remember The Rain" off 1975's Ahead of Our Time by 21st Century, a Chicago vocal group previously sampled by the likes of The AlchemistTha God FahimPhoniksSoul SupremeShuko, among others.

Worldwide Steppers (Prod. by J.LBS, Sounwave and Tae Beast)

"Worldwide Steppers" features multiple samples, including 1974's "Break Through" by Nigerian Afro-rock group The Funkees, and vocals from a YouTube video of Rodel Ortiz who is furious about the lack of cheese at a BBQ. That makes him a "go-getter with no cheddar," to quote an old Kendrick song.

Kendrick Lamar - Crown (Prod. by Duval Timothy)

UK multidisciplinary artist Duval Timothy samples his own song "Through The Night" off Brown Loop, his official debut album on I Should Care Records. As confirmed by Decca Publishing, the vinyl-only "Spirit Interlude" also contains a sample off Timothy's record.

Non-album single: Kendrick Lamar - The Heart Part 5 (Prod. by Beach Noise)

The Beach Noise-produced "The Heart Part 5" isn't part of Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. The official single to Kendrick Lamar's first new music since 2017's DAMN. interpolates Marvin Gaye's classic "I Want You," a cut off the same-titled 1976 record. The single was complemented with, arguably, this year's most powerful video to date.

'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers' Tracklist & Production Credits


  1. United In Grief
    Produced by Beach Noise, Duval Timothy, J.LBS, OKLAMA, Sounwave and Tim Maxey
  2. N95
    Produced by Boi-1da, Hykeem Carter, Jahaan Sweet and Sounwave
  3. Worldwide Steppers
    Produced by J.LBS, Sounwave and Tae Beast
  4. Die Hard (Feat. Blxst & Amanda Reifer)
    Produced by DJ Dahi, FNZ, Hykeem Carter, J.LBS and Sounwave
  5. Father Time (Feat. Sampha)
    Produced by Beach Noise, Bekon, DJ Dahi, Duval Timothy, Sounwave and Victor Ekpo
  6. Rich (Interlude)
    Produced by Duval Timothy
  7. Rich Spirit
    Produced by DJ Dahi, Sounwave and franO
  8. We Cry Together (Feat. Taylour Paige)
    Produced by Bekon, J.LBS and The Alchemist
  9. Purple Hearts (Feat. Summer Walker & Ghostface Killah)
    Produced by Beach Noise, DJ Khalil, J.LBS and Sounwave


  1. Count Me Out
    Produced by DJ Dahi, J.LBS, OKLAMA, Sounwave and Tim Maxey
  2. Crown
    Produced by Duval Timothy
  3. Silent Hill (Feat. Kodak Black)
    Produced by Beach Noise, Boi-1da, Jahaan Sweet and Sounwave
  4. Savior (Interlude)
    Produced by J.LBS, OKLAMA and Sounwave
  5. Savior (Feat. Baby Keem & Sam Dew)
    Produced by Cardo, J.LBS, Mario Luciano, OKLAMA, Rascal and Sounwave
  6. Auntie Diaries
    Produced by Beach Noise, Bekon, Bekon & The Donuts, Craig Balmoris, Sergiu Gherman and Tyler Mehlenbacher
  7. Mr. Morale (Feat. Tanna Leone)
    Produced by Pharrell Williams
  8. Mother I Sober (Feat. Beth Gibbons)
    Produced by Bekon, J.LBS and Sounwave
  9. Mirror
    Produced by Bekon, Craig Balmoris, DJ Dahi, Sergiu Gherman, Sounwave, Tim Maxey and Tyler Mehlenbacher

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