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Hottest Flips: Psychedelic Soul, 70s Folk, and a ‘Gospel Genius’
Made With Tracklib

Hottest Flips: Psychedelic Soul, 70s Folk, and a ‘Gospel Genius’

'Hottest Flips' highlights recent releases made with Tracklib. The series reveals the samples behind the hits and gives you first-hand production insights from the pros.

By Tracklib

Kota The Friend - Face It (Prod. by Calvin Valentine & Kota The Friend)

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0:00 · 4:52

"I started with chopping up the sample and building my own loop out of the chops."

—Calvin Valentine

Recently, Brooklyn-bred rapper Kota The Friend teased his Instagram followers with "The album is done. See you in June.” Till then, stand-alone singles like “Face It” keep you hyped for new music. The song was produced by Calvin Valentine, who blends, in his own words, "old-soul vintage with shiny-pop sonics." This time by sampling modern synth-pop by Eraserhood Sound's Vincent John.

“I found the sample looking for some sounds outside of the soul, funk, and reggae, digging I usually do. I started with chopping up the sample and building my own loop out of the chops. The loop was so strong all I needed to do after that was add some drums, bass and extra synths and the track was moving.

I used the Akai MPC Live II to make the beat and my Roland JUPITER-80 to play the bassline and synth parts. After chopping up the sample I sped it up three semitones and added some delay to the individual chops so they had some space to breathe. The final touch was making a second program with the vocal chops and sprinkling those on top of the beat. Kota came over a few days later and picked out some beats this being one of them and the song came together naturally.”—Calvin Valentine

瘦子E.SO - Amazing (Prod. by E.SO & A-FLIGHT)

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0:00 · 7:43

"We used a sample rather than a new recording, because a sample has history and spirit that we can't recreate from a studio session."

—A-FLIGHT

Taiwanese emcee 瘦子E.SO and producer A-FLIGHT are back with another piece of hip-hop-fueled cinematic storytelling. Just like the Tracklib samples on their song “Way Up” (Brazilian “Zumba” and a Dr. C.J. Johnson gospel vocal), this time there’s another gospel sample off Tracklib in their co-production: “Miracle” by New Orleans 'Gospel Genius' Raymond A. Myles.

“We wanted to sample a female vocal solo from an old gospel song into the bridge of the song . A sample and not a new recording, because a sample has history and spirit that we can't recreate from a studio session. The spirit and lyrics on ‘Miracle’ were perfect. Even the pitch matched our song, so I didn’t even need to tune it.

The only thing I need to do is re-arrange the order of the melody to become what I want, to make it sound more perfect to the emotion of the song.I only rearranged the order of the melody and added a little reverb and delay on the sample. I tried not to change [the sample] a lot, because I want it to sound close to the original. The entire process was done in FL Studio.”—A-FLIGHT

Pouya - The Wages of Sin is Death (Prod. by Mikey The Magician)

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"I had to get a good groove but also keep the integrity of the saxophone that was in the sample."

—Mikey The Magician

After a Latin jazz flip of Afro-Caribbean band The Republic on Pouya’s “I’ll Always Be Around,” for Pouya’s newest single producer Mikey The Magician scoured a late-80s slow jam by Willie Feaster and The Mighty Magnificents on Tracklib.

“While I was in the studio with some friends and A&R's in the room, the pressure was on to make something on the spot. So I started digging through Tracklib and I struck gold when I pressed play on ‘All Along.’ After finding the sample, I started chopping away.

I had to get a good groove but also keep the integrity of the saxophone that was in the sample. Once my chopping was done it was time to do drums.I used the slicing technique on FL Studio to cut the sample, and then drag to find another interesting part. I repeated this process over and over again until the song took shape with a good grove. After that, I just took out the low frequencies so my 808 could breathe and that was about it. Simplicity worked, in this case.”—Mikey The Magician

Bun B & Cory Mo - My Queen ft. 2 Chainz, Wale & CeeLo Green (Prod. by Cory Mo)

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"I imported the sample into my MPC software and changed the pitch and key first. I chopped up a few bars until it made sense in an 8-bar sequence."

—Cory Mo

For “My Queen,” the newest single off the Cory Mo-produced Mo Trill album with Bun B, they enlisted an impressive line-up: 2 Chainz, Wale, and CeeLo Green join the UGK emcee. After sampling Norman Feels for “Hesitate,” this beat is backed by a classic Bob James melody, as previously sampled by Pete Rock, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Nottz, DJ Skee, among others.

"When I saw the Bob James collection, I listened to every single song that was available until I heard ‘Dream Journey.’ That’s a hit with the right features! I imported the sample into my MPC software and changed the pitch and key first. I chopped up a few bars until it made sense in an 8-bar sequence. I then made sure I kept the same vibe all the way through."—Cory Mo

"Thanks to Tracklib for clearing this sample for us and making the process as simple and easy as possible."—Bun B

Landis - Got Some Satisfaction

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0:00 · 2:53

"The mixing process was definitely the most difficult to get the vocal clarity but I achieved this through a good amount of processing with my favorite EQ."

—Landis

Heavy funk meets thumping tech-house on “Got Some Satisfaction” by Landis. There are heavy drums on “I Got Some Part 1” by Billy ‘Sugar Billy’ Garner, but the Miami-based DJ/producer went for Garner’s energetic vocals. The original song was produced by Dave Hamilton, an acclaimed Motown session guitarist and vibraphone player in the 60s.

”I have always been interested in the mix of house music with genres from the past. So doing a combination of funk and house was something I wanted to try. I had the outline for the beat so it was a matter of timing up the Billy Garner vocal and getting it to flow with the beat I had made. It definitely took some time and warping correctly but once I got the hook for the vocal it came together organically.

I took a lot of tech-house elements for the production and merged them with the funk-feel vocals. The mixing process was definitely the most difficult to get the vocal clarity but I achieved this through a good amount of processing with my favorite EQ—FabFilter Pro-Q 3—and compression using mixing plugins like Izotope Nectar & Neutron.”—Landis

CRFT - Waiting ft. Blu & J. Crum (Prod. by CRFT)

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"I like slicing and sampling this way sometimes because it can unveil some unique portions of records that you normally wouldn't find."

—CRFT

As soon as producer CRFT heard “Marie” by Rich Mountain Tower, he knew he “wanted to make a deeply emotional hip-hop beat.” He enlisted emcees Blu and J. Crum to come up with lyrics fitting in with just that.

“I unintentionally channeled my inner-RZA during the production process. For the main section of the beat, I sought out a tiny piece of the vocals to stretch and have it hit with the kick in the beat. I use Ableton Live to make beats. I dropped Rich Mountain Tower’s ‘Marie’ into Ableton's Simpler instrument and found the tiny portions of the song that intrigued me.

I used the Slice at Transient feature and decreased the Sensitivity percentage so the slices stretched across the entire song. From there, I ran my fingers across my MIDI keyboard and adjusted the slice markers to find the chops that caught my ear—namely the ‘waiting’ vocal chop. I like slicing and sampling this way sometimes because it can unveil some unique portions of records that you normally wouldn't find.”—CRFT

International GT - Seasons ft. Danielle Duterte (Prod. by International GT & Brian Triola)

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"'Believe What I Say' by Charlene P.M. instantly gave me that early Kanye West, Roc-A-Fella vibe."

—International GT

“Seasons” is part of International GT’s album T.I.M.E. (True Imagination Makes Everything). The Las Vegas-based rapper is a multi-faceted artist: besides his rhymes, he’s also a producer and studio engineer who has worked with the likes of George Clinton, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Fetty Wap, among others.

“As soon as I heard Charlene P.M.’s ‘Believe What I Say,’ I thought the song has an inspirational/uplifting presence. The music instantly gave me that early Kanye West, Roc-A-Fella vibe. Once I got on Tracklib digging, I searched the soul music section. I started with Serato Sample in FL Studio. I used the sample as the main loop, with goodies added around the flip.

Once I captured the chops it was fairly straight-forward from there. I sped the sample up to 116 BPM and raised the pitch a few keys. Then I began finding chops that flowed together. Once the proper foundation was built, I added drums, a bass player, and a keyboardist to add that real analog feeling.”—International GT

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