Travelling with the Nautilus

Science dropped by Martini & Jopparelli. Oct-21-2007

This time our guest comes from Italy like us. His name is Antonio and he runs a nice blog called La Mensa dei Diseredati. His blog is in Italian and it’s all about representing the hardcore! His spot well worth a visit even if you are not an Italian speaker as he also has a section with his beats productions. What are you waiting for? Go check him out here!


This blog is all about samples and breaks. I like that.

And, needless to say, usually the guys here do a really good job.

I used to have a lot of sample-based posts on my blog (

I can’t seem to find the time anymore for dropping knowledge the way Marty and Joppa do all the time (and it bothers me, believe me).

But I have a big advantage here: I can cheat.

I mean, my blog is written in Italian, so I can pick up a sample-based post that has already been published on my blog and just update it, rewriting it in English. Et voilà.

Hell, Kanye West recycles entire songs all the time and I should feel guilty about a stupid post? Call it green blogging… Recycling is life.


So, today we are going to talk about mr. James. Bob James.

He is indeed one of the most sampled musicians ever, especially among hip hop producers.

James’ smooth jazzy compositions have earned him the respect and admiration of many hip-hop heads. As many people probably know, recently Bob James was featured on the last instalment of Guru’s Jazzmattaz, for example.

His discography has helped building a few hip hop classics: as an example, I will only mention (Take Me to the) Mardi Gras and THOSE drums…

Nautilus is a joint from the album One (1974), which was very heavily sampled throughout the years. And rightly so: the raw funky edge of the song is a perfect fit for grimy hardcore lyrics and tight flows.

But that’s not the point.

The point is that there is a distinguishing feature about the way Nautilus is sampled that I find very appealing. In fact, the list of the hip hop joints that incorporate parts of the songs, at the very least, indicates that normally the producers get quite creative with the way they flip this classic.

Listed below are some classic tunes that incorporate bits from Nautilus (and I am probably forgetting some):

Alkaholiks – Daaam!

EPMD – Brothers on My Jock

Eric B and Rakim – Follow the Leader

Ghostface Killah – Daytona 500

Keith Murray – The Rhyme

Main Source – Live at the BBQ

Onyx – Throw Ya Gunz

Public Enemy – Anti-Nigger Machine

Puff Daddy f. Busta Rhymes and Notorious BIG – Victory

Run-DMC – Beats to the Rhyme

Slick Rick – Children’s Story

Tame One – Torture Chamber

This song is the best example against a certain negative “sampling is not creative, it is just stealing” stance that a lot of people seem to have.

Even the most distracted listener can appreciate how, for example, Follow the Leader and Live at the BBQ sound completely different, even though they rely on the same set of samples. Or maybe it’s just that there are so many “sampleable” parts in the songs that people mostly cannot get it wrong…

One last thing: I feel quite strongly about the whole “sampling is not creative” thing, so I ended up rewriting the original post. So much for recycling!

Listen to Bob James – Nautilus

Listen to Alkaholiks – Daaam

Listen to Eric B & Rakim – Follow the Leader

No Responses to “Travelling with the Nautilus”

  1. ilmago says:

    Stop hating on Kanye! ;)
    Good Job Tony!

  2. Antonio says:

    Ahah… I am not hating on Kanye.
    The beat for Can’t Tell Me Nothing is super.
    One of the best I have heard this year.
    Is this better?