British singer-songwriter Labi Siffre released ten albums of soul, jazz and funk between 1970 and 1998. A year later, a sample from the opening track of this, his fifth release, would be used as the basis for Eminem’s My Name Is. But it wasn’t the first time the song had been sampled by Hip Hop.
I Got The starts off as perhaps the greatest soul song ever. After just two verses and two passionate choruses calls of ‘You’re so good / The way you give / You’re so good / You’re the best there is’, the song stops and drastically changes course. A stop-start drum and bass groove takes over, providing the bed for a now-very familiar electric-piano riff. We’ve switched from soul to funk and the band are on fire.
I Got The will now forever be linked to Eminem, but the basic drum and bass groove had previously been lifted by the Wu-Tang Clan, and Jay-Z sampled the first section of the song a few years before Eminem and Dr. Dre came along. Nothing’s original under the sun. Or in Hip Hop.
Remember My Song is a fantastic record. I Got The is clearly the stand-out track but The Vulture, the opening track on the flip-side, is also a stone-cold funk gem. It’s so good, it’s a surprise the album didn’t sell in higher numbers. Original copies are now very scarce, presumably snapped up by Hip Hop fans in the late ‘90s, but this Mr. Bongo reissue sounds great.
And what a backing band. Not only do we have Chas Hodges and Dave Peacock on guitar and bass – surely making this Chas & Dave’s greatest contribution to popular culture – but the lead guitarist and arranger of the album is Big Jim Sullivan – one of the most renowned session guitarists on the London scene in the 1960s (alongside Jimmy Page and Vic Flick).
Hit: I Got The
Hidden Gem: The Vulture