The beat track from Jay-Z’s song "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" is the best one I’ve heard in a long time.  It’s really a shame that all his lyrics are trash.  He released an a capella version of The Black Album; he should have released an instrumental version instead.  (Of course, J himself had little if anything to do with creating this beat; it was produced by Timbaland.)  The last time I liked a beat this much was probably either Rakim’s Guess Who’s Back or KRS-ONE’s God is Spirit.  (Or maybe The Cross Movement’s The Light.  Hmm...)

I can definitely see Dirt Off Your Shoulder becoming something of a classic, like Eric B. and Rakim’s Lyrics of Fury and Paid in Full, because it’s just so catchy.  (Paid in Full has one of the most sampled beats of all time, and it’s almost 20 years old now.)

Here are short clips of the beats, so you can sample their awesomeness:

1986: Eric B. And Rakim - Paid In Full
1988: Eric B. And Rakim - Lyrics Of Fury
1997: Rakim - Guess Who’s Back
2000: The Cross Movement - The Light (The Blazin’ One)
2002: KRS-ONE - God Is Spirit Feat. BB Jay
2003: Jay-Z - Dirt Off Your Shoulder

Update: and of course, Rock the Bells / Peter Piper.  This has probably been sampled at least as much as Paid in Full’s beat.
1986: Run DMC - Peter Piper

Posted by Anthony on 4 replies


01. Mar 20, 2004 at 11:34am by andy:

lyrics of fury is more classic than those two guys:
funky drummer

which was sampled way more than that, by insane amounts of people.  if they didn’t use the exact loop they essentially remade it and put a couple other things on top.

if you want crazy timba beats talk to my brother, he makes them all the time, your rap career is just starting after all


02. Mar 20, 2004 at 02:13pm by Anthony:

I didn’t see any reference to Lyrics of Fury in that article.  But Eric B and Rakim were one of the first groups to popularize the sampling of James Brown’s stuff.

And what are you talking about, my rap career?

03. Mar 21, 2004 at 06:40pm by andy:


04. Mar 21, 2004 at 08:34pm by Anthony:

That’s what I thought, park bench.

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