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How BROCKHAMPTON & JPEGMAFIA sampled Isaac Hayes on 'CHAIN ON'

How BROCKHAMPTON & JPEGMAFIA sampled Isaac Hayes on 'CHAIN ON'

The wait is over: after BROCKHAMPTON producer Romil Hemnani teased a new album with the initials 'RR' half a year ago, a new album called 'ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE' is out now. The second track, "Chain On" featuring JPEGMAFIA, is built around a loop of previously unreleased hot buttered soul by Isaac Hayes.

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BROCKHAMPTON didn’t sit still during days of lockdown. With their Technical Difficulties sessions, they kept themselves sane through times of madness, and fans pleased with twenty-plus standalone “singles” between 2019’s GINGER (featuring another Tracklib single on "Dearly Departed") and the current new album, ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE.

“Chain On” with JPEGMAFIA was one of those singles. Released back then as a two-part track, “Chain On / Hold Me,” boasting samples of classic hip-hop (Wu-Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M.” and KRS-One’s “Sound of da Police”) and the touching 70s soul track “We Almost Lost Detroit” by Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson—another heavily sampled song, used since the mid-90s by the likes of Grand Puba, J. Rawls (for Black Star's "Brown Skin Lady"), Flying Lotus, Kanye West, STLNDRMS, and many others.

“Working with Peggy [JPEGMAFIA] was awesome,” says BROCKHAMPTON producer Romil Hemnani. “It felt like being a kid and just making beats for the love and joy of it - no pressure or expectations. Peggy is an incredible artist.”

The original cover for "Chain On / Hold Me" featuring JPEGMAFIA
The original cover for "Chain On / Hold Me" featuring JPEGMAFIA

"We all grew up on sampling. [Tracklib] just helps maintain the art form and prominence of sampling in music in a more inclusive way."

—Romil Hemnani

The revamped album version of “Chain On” is built around a previously unreleased Isaac Hayes track. It’s not a stretch to say that “September Romance Intro” makes for a perfect loop, dug up on Tracklib by producer Romil Hemnani. “My father was ALWAYS a fan of rap and hip hop artists,” says Isaac Hayes III. “The art form came from a place of poverty and invention just like he did. He supported and fought for the culture all the time. After hearing this he'd chuckle and say to me, 'See son, your old man's still got it!' [Laughs]. That's what he would say.”

Isaac Hayes is one of those artists whose music reaches further than just his discography due to how often he's sampled," adds Romil. "It feels good to be able to add to that lineage. I didn't realize how prevalent his music was in my life until I learned about how some of my favorite music has sampled him.”

Kevin Abstract & Dom McLennon join JPEGMAFIA to address police violence and an urge for strength, unity & empathy, written amid the Black Lives Matter protests after the murder of George Floyd. All through witty references of 80s horror and sitcoms, Dragon Ball Z, Street Fighter, WWE wrestlers, Marvin Gaye, and more. Ending the track with another nod to Wu-Tang Clan. That makes us here at Tracklib wonder again about that recent cryptic teaser featuring RZA. A BROCKHAMPTON album over RZA & Romil beats? We can only hope for that…

'Hot Buttered Soul', 'Shaft' & 'Black Moses' by Isaac Hayes
'Hot Buttered Soul', 'Shaft' & 'Black Moses' by Isaac Hayes
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The outro to BROCKHAMPTON’s “Chain On” is an unintentional sample link by itself: Wu-Tang Clan's “C.R.E.A.M.” samples “As Long As I’ve Got You” by The Charmels, written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter. Soul inspiration coming full circle. “This is what it’s all about: connecting the culture with the music without all the red tape,” says Isaac Hayes III. “A real hip-hop record. Dope. I love ‘Chain On.’ It’s amazing to know that my dad's music is still appreciated, respected, and sampled in 2021.”

For Romil, it was a no-brainer to dig for samples again for ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE: “We all grew up on sampling. Everyone's favorite rappers and producers have sampled. [Tracklib] just helps maintain the art form and prominence of sampling in music in a more inclusive way. Anyone can go to the site and dig through the virtual crates.”


Some of the multitracks by Isaac Hayes. All songs and multitracks can be found here:

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5:21
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5:05
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7:55

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