Sampling could be seen as a way to preserve, pay homage, or even evolve music. The Isley Brothers, who have been nominated for the “Certified Soul” honor at the 2021 Soul Train Awards, are very familiar with the method of sampling after having many of the popular hits from their discography, including “Footsteps In The Dark 1&2” and “Between the Sheet” used by various acts in the hip hop and R&B community.
As we gear up for this year’s celebration, we want to take the time to reflect on The Isley Brothers’ contribution to the music industry and look back at five times an artist dug into the iconic soul group’s music vault and sampled one of their classic tracks.
The Notorious B.I.G. “Big Poppa”
The Isley Brothers released their bedroom ballad, “Between the Sheets,” in 1983, and not even a decade later Chucky Thompson and Diddy took that instrumental and turned it into one of the most iconic Biggie records ever.
Ice Cube “It Was A Good Day”
In 1993, Ice Cube told us about his good day with a little assistance from The Isley Brothers 1977’s record “Footsteps in the Dark.”
Kendrick Lamar “I”
This groovy record off of Kendrick Lamar’s sophomore album, To Pimp a Butterfly, samples the Isley Brothers’ 1973 hit, “That Lady.”
Ludacris - “Sex Room” ft. Trey Songz
Ludacris knew exactly what he was doing when he called in a favor from the lady’s man himself, R&B crooner Trey Songz and the Isley Brothers’ “Summer Breeze,” for this steamy record off the rapper’s 2010 project Battle Of The Sexes.
Aaliyah “Choosey Lover (Old School/New School)”
The late R&B singer covered this 1983 single from the sibling ensemble in 1996 for One in a Million. Though Aaliyah kept the majority of the original record, it later transitioned into a more hip hop version of the classic song.
Watch the 2021 Soul Train Awards on Sunday, November 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on BET and BET Her.