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How J. Cole and T-Minus sampled exclusive multi-tracks for "Middle Child"

How J. Cole and T-Minus sampled exclusive multi-tracks for "Middle Child"

J. Cole kicks off a year of four planned releases with ‘Middle Child’. In this new track he takes on the role of "little bro and big bro all at once", showing love and addressing how rap beef is unnecessary. The track was produced by T-Minus and J. Cole, who added a pinch of ‘Philly Soul’ brass to the beat with a sample from Tracklib.

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“Cole and I found a loop on Tracklib. It was the initial inspiration for the record."

T-Minus

Multi-platinum producer T-Minus previously produced Cole’s “Kevin’s Heart” as well as music for Drake, Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, Lil Wayne, Travis Scott, Big Sean, The Weeknd, and–man, too many to mention. T-Minus: “Collaborating with J. Cole is like working with someone who understands your language and abilities. He's a producer AND an artist, so he gets the process.”

Photo from @tminus on Instagram. Yep, that’s Rick Ross.
Photo from @tminus on Instagram. Yep, that’s Rick Ross.

T-Minus and Cole sampled the brass section from First Choice’s “Wake Up To Me,” a 1973 soul song from the archives of Philly Groove Records. It's just one of the 15 stems from this alternate outtake of the track available for the first time in almost 50 years. The sample starts around the one minute mark. Create a free Tracklib account to listen to the full song and all separate stems.

“Cole and I found a loop on Tracklib. It was the initial inspiration for the record," says T-Minus about the First Choice stem. The special thing about having individual tracks is that you can take something that sounds one way in its original body of work, and completely flip it to a different vibe” tells producer T-Minus about the stem he sampled. “You can really change the progression of the music that way. It takes sampling to a new level."

The all-cleared sample even enabled a bit of unusual pre-fun: before the song’s release, J. Cole teased his 3.8 million Instagram followers with a clip of First Choice rather than with a snippet of the track. Care-free, because it was an all-cleared and licensed sample.

It’s not confirmed yet, but it could be that “Middle Child” will be part of the forthcoming Revenge of the Dreamers III compilation. Because last week, Cole wrapped up the 10-day recording spree for ROTD3 together with artists including T.I., Swizz Beatz, DJ Khaled, Big K.R.I.T. and Wale. Other announced releases from J. Cole this year are his The Off Season project, The Fall Off album, and a release as his alter ego, kiLL edward.

As J. Cole said it himself before: “Music becomes more pure and soulful when it’s true, and it has to be true these days with the way the internet works, and the way the game works, everyone wants authentic raps.” The same goes for ‘Middle Child’ yet made even more soulful with a well-selected brass sample by T-Minus.

You can also add a touch of soul like Cole - a few months ago, Tracklib added never-before-heard multi-tracks and master tracks from the classic soul label Philly Groove Records, including material from the 60s and 70s by First Choice, The Coupe De Villes, Ben Aiken, Sound Experience, among others. “We were hoping that artists would be able to discover the richness of the catalog through our partnership with Tracklib, and to hear a 45-year-old First Choice song sampled in J. Cole’s newest single is truly gratifying”, says Faith Newman, SVP of A&R and Catalog Development at Reservoir Media, which acquired Philly Groove Records in 2012.

Interested in sampling real music? Why not start by downloading our free track right now - no credit card needed.


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