History Lesson: Oliver Sain’s “On The Hill”
It’s no secret that jazz & the blues are deeply rooted in hip-hop. Those horns and drums from the fifties and sixties have given fans some luscious backdrops to some of the best songs in the genre. Oliver Sain’s “On The Hill” boasts such respectable traits as well as its heavy in saxophone and traditional instrumentation. Recently, a nice following of artists have taken Sain’s work and decided for better or worse to throw at least sixteen bars over it. In the past decade at least, numerous artists have flipped Sain’s saxophone and went to work.
The Kid Daytona – On The Hill (prod. 6th Sense) – 6th Sense doesn’t do much to the sample as it’s pretty straight forward but the sole subject to keep an eye on here would be TKD who absolutely opens eyes with his two verses. It’s a classic New York flow, slow paced and slurred at moments but all the punchlines and metaphors are precise.
D.I.T.C. – Day One (prod. Diamond Rare) – The supergroup that should have more pub than most. Diamond Rare stuck to the simple flip and let the crew run amok. Especially Big L.
The Niceguys – Good Shepherd (prod. Christoph) – While this particular track has been in circulation for the better part of two years, it’s getting major airtime due to the release of the group’s debut album on September 28th. Christoph chops up the sample and gives it some speed while Yves Saint nimbly treads over the production with no real shame in his game.
Puff Daddy (Diddy) – Young G’s (f. Jay-Z & The Notorious B.I.G.) (prod. Rashad Smith) – This was my original introduction to the sample, ironically from the guy who sampled damn near everything under the sun for his debut album. Rashad Smith has a laundry list of production credits from Busta Rhymes’ “Dangerous” to the remix to Biggie’s “One More Chance”. Here he doesn’t do a lot with the Sain sample but decides to toss in some Donny Hathaway for good measure. Jay & B.I.G. once again collab (their third with “Brooklyn’s Finest” being the first & “I Love The Dough” being the second) and here its a virtual tie for who has the best verse between the two.