LL COOL J and Greg Nice Salute the Soulful Sample From Biggie and DMC's "My Downfall"

LL COOL J and Greg Nice Salute the Soulful Sample From Biggie and DMC's "My Downfall"

Published Wed, August 10, 2022 at 2:50 PM EDT

On this week'sSalute The Sample, Rock the Bell's exclusive series where LL COOL J, Greg Nice, and DJ Z-Trip break down the origin of some of Hip-Hop’s most beloved samples, the trio traced the roots of two rap classics, The Notorious B.I.G. and DMC's 1997 track, "My Downfall" and Mary J. Blige and Method Man's 1995 ode to love and loyalty, "I'll Be There For You/You're All I Need."

The sample starts off with the insistent coaxing of the Al Green classic, "For The Good Times," made in 1972. That song was later sampled by Carlos "6 July" Broady for Biggie and DMC's "My Downfall" from Big's classic Life After Death.

"It ain't nothin else for you to do when you hear this record..." Greg Nice says, as Al Green plays. "This record is sexual, man. This is intimacy."

LL says, it doesn't have to be. "You be running in there and that fried chicken ready, that curry chicken ready... rice and peas..." he says, conjuring images of Sunday cooking sessions in a hot kitchen, while Al Green still croons in the background.

"You want to put your hand on something after that fried chicken," Greg insists. "Like 'Come here, girl.'"

"He begging though, man," LL says, chuckling. "Begging only works on records. It works really good when it's another dude doing it on a melody."

"Man, if you show up singing it like he's singing it?" Greg Nice says before breaking into his best Al Green crooning impression.

After Z-Trip breaks down the sample loop that led to Biggie's classic, the guys point out another sample used in the song, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's 1968 gem, "You're All I Need to Get By," which was produced by legendary duo Ashford & Simpson. That track, of course, paves the way to pointing out its use in the 1995 hit from Mary and Meth, "I'll Be There For You/You're All I Need" produced by Trackmasters.

"Music is amazing, the way everybody just feeds off of everything and how we all contribute," LL says. "It's like you're swimming through a pool and it's like different colors of water but it's still the same water and the colors are just changing as you swim through the pool. But the pool is like, 500 miles long and as you're flowing through it, the colors of the pool are changing but you're always in the water.

Greg Nice, who is clearly hungry, nods his head in understanding. "It's like food. It's like cooking chicken. You got lemon pepper, rosemary, garlic, curry, stew, barbecue, backed, grill, fried... It's amazing man, music is a beautiful thing."

Watch the episode above.

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