Thursday, September 23, 2010

La Di Da Di

So just yesterday a friend of mine, Dawn in her Facebook update mentioned that she thought that Slick Rick was underrated. It made me think of something that the Mrs. and I had been talking about just a few weeks ago when Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh's classic, La Di Da Di came on some playlist we happened to be listening to in the car. I mean, beyond classic funk and soul artists like Lyn Collins or James Brown, has another artist, and in this case song been sampled as much as La Di Da Di? It would be hard to argue, you seem to hear snippets of it all over the place. It even has a classic story behind it: being that it was actually released as a B-Side to The Show in 1985, but arguably became a bigger classic than that song.

I mean, depending on the cut of it you hear, the song lasts four and a half minutes to nearly five minutes, and you could make a whole mixtape just based around the idea that these songs have sampled, in some way, just this song. Check out where parts of La Di Da Di shows up, and this list isn't even definitive:

-The hook of the song Hypnotize by Notorious B.I.G. revolve around Slick Rick's lyrics.
-The words "hit it" were sampled by Ini Kamoze in the song Here Comes The Hotstepper. 
-Also I am pretty sure they use the same "hit it" in the Beastie Boys' Hold It, Now Hit It  from License To Ill
-In the Mos Def song Perfect Timing (from True Magic) he repeats the line, "cause this type of shit happens everyday"
-L.L. Cool J uses the "There Is No Competition" line at the end of Jingling Baby
-De La Soul loved this song: they sample the word "emcee" in the song Supa Emcees in their album, Stakes Is High.
-they sample the phrase "can't be a love" in the song Talkin' Bout Hey Love from the album De La Soul is Dead
-they also use the phrase "slammed the child on the hard concrete" in the song My Brother Is A Basehead also on De La Soul Is Dead.
-Das EFX samples the words "just some men" in the song Jussummen on their album Dead Serious.
-2Pac sings the final hook on the song Lost Souls, which revolves around Slick Rick's phrase, "All of ya'll keepin ya'll in health..."
-Black Sheep samples the phrase "on and she kept on" in their song La Menage (which features Q-Tip) off their album, A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing.
-And, to me, one of the more amazing ones: none other than Color Me Badd samples the phrase, "to the tic toc you don't stop" on their hit I Wanna Sex You Up (from their album C.M.B.)

Like I said above, that list is by no means definitive. All in all, for a song that was originally was a B-side to become such an influential classic is pretty amazing. Lastly, an interesting factoid, I guess, with how much sampling either in turns of phrases or actual sampling of this song, their is no actual sampling on the song. Its just the amazing sounds of Doug E. Fresh's human beatbox that supplies the beat.



  1. Wow, that's amazing. I always knew that "Yesterday" is the most covered song of all time, but this here might be the most sampled song of all time. And it's crazy how basic and simple it is by today's standards yet it still can be found in so many other different tracks. Good find, Kev. Oh, and this kinda has inspired me to go back and check out Color Me Badd again.


  2. I was looking into your claim about "Yesterday". 1) It turns out it was true ( and 2) What surprises me about that list is that "Here Comes The Sun" isn't one of their Top ten covered songs/Beatles songs. I feel like I hear versions of it all over the place.


  3. To tell you the truth, I've always been surprised by that stat in regards to "Yesterday". For a song so often covered, I can't recall ever hearing a version of it. But I'll also say that I typically hate Beatles covers because I think the originals are so perfect that anyone messing with them at all is just wrong for me. Yeah, it's a bias, but seriously, nobody can do it better than they can.