Budo's Neck-Snapping Sample for Macklemore's 'Heroes,' with cuts by DJ PremierBudo's Neck-Snapping Sample for Macklemore's 'Heroes,' with cuts by DJ Premier


Budo's Neck-Snapping Sample for Macklemore's 'Heroes,' with cuts by DJ Premier

Macklemore’s heroes don’t appear on no stamps. Backed by a throwback boom-bap production by Budo with cuts by DJ Premier, the Seattle emcee reminisces about his childhood adoration for rappers, gangsters, and street icons. The main ingredient, front and center: a banging sample of Leroi Conroy’s "Tiger Trot."




January 26, 2023

"Tiger Trot" by Terry Cole a.k.a. Leroi Conroy was originally released as a 45 record on Colemine Records, his own independent modern soul label. As a self-described “purveyor of moody tunes,” Cole's aim was to put out quality music with soul. Since its start in 2007, the label also expanded into reggae, gospel, and funk."The funk stuff has to be nasty as fuck," he told Bandcamp Daily in 2019. With his own records like "Tiger Trot," B-side slow burner "Enter," or the cinematic funk on "La Gran Mesa," he has lived up to his own demand.

"I grew up enamored with the lore of the Wu-Tang Clan," says producer Budo, "worshipping just about anything the RZA made. This Leroi Conroy sample immediately transported me to a neck-snapping 36 Chambers-type world."

"Most of the time, when sampling, I'll pull tiny parts of a track and manipulate them significantly, but this song was so dope that chopping it up too much would have destroyed the essence of the magic."


Budo producer Macklemore Heroes

A celebration of sampling

Macklemore’s pop breakthrough album The Heist in 2012 with producer Ryan Lewis was deliberately sample-free. "We specifically strayed away from that," Macklemore told EW back then. "We wanted to make an album that was pretty much sample-free, where we didn't have to clear anything."

But times have changed. The in-your-face, all-but-subtle sampling of the horns, bass, and marching drums of "Tiger Trot" sound like a celebration of sampling. Fully embracing a sample-heavy production ethos in line with boom-bap's golden era.

Budo: "The sample is so dope that the beat for 'Heroes' sort of made itself. I pulled the drums and bass from their original stems, but the horn line is what really gives the song its power. We brought in a couple of horn players—Jared Tankel from the Budos Band and Greg Kramer from the True Loves—to add some extra intensity to the horn stabs, and brought in a long-time collaborator named Josh Rawlings to play some piano. The whole process was seamless and quite natural."

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