• Samples of History: Curtis Mayfield’s “Impressions” On Today’s Music

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    Today marks the 68th anniversary of the birth of one of black music’s greatest songwriters, Curtis Mayfield.

    His work with his group The Impressions, as well as his solo work continues to live on in today’s music through sampling. Having been sampled by artists ranging from Mary J Blige to Kanye West, his music has been exposed to an entire new generation of listeners!

    Here are a few of our favorite Curtis Mayfield-sampling songs!

    Kanye West “Touch The Sky”

    Built off of a generous loop of Curtis’ classic 1970 single “Move On Up” from his debut solo album, Curtis (hello 50 Cent), Kanye created one of his most popular singles which was accompanied by a hilarious video!

    Mary J. Blige “Be Happy”

    The lead single from Mary J Blige’s second album, My Life, samples Curtis’ “You’re So Good To Me” from 1979’s Heartbeat album.

    Ice-T “I’m Your Pusher”

    Ice-T’s first taste of mainstream success came with the release of his second album, 1988’s Power, which featured the hit single “I’m Your Pusher.” The song was a reworking of Curtis Mayfield’s classic “Pusherman” from his essential soundtrack to the 1972 blaxploitation film Superfly. Ice-T would hook up with Curtis a few years later to record a song for the soundtrack of the 1990 sequel, Return Of Superfly.

    Beyoncé “Resentment”

    Beyoncé sampled Curtis’ guitar instrumental “Think” from the soundtrack of Superfly for this song from her 2006 B’Day album.

    Monica “A Dozen Roses” / Edgar Allen Floe “The Righteous Way To Go”

    In 2006, Monica’s “A Dozen Roses” hit the radio airwaves with a sample from Curtis’ 1970 ballad “The Makings Of You.” A few years earlier, hip-hop producer 9th Wonder flipped the same song for Edgar Allen Floe’s “The Righteous Way To Go” giving it a totally different feel than the Monica song.

    What are some of your favorite Curtis Mayfield songs? Let us know in the comments!

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