It all started during J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only Tour. Ironically, one particular moment enticed nostalgia for fans of Born Sinner, and bridged a gap between his second and fourth studio albums: a surprising performance of ‘Forbidden Fruit’. The record features Kendrick Lamar on the hook, and samples Ronnie Foster’s 1972 song ‘Mystic Brew’ (also sampled in A Tribe Called Quest’s 1993 single ‘Electric Relaxation’). Amidst the hype over his song that hasn’t been performed on tour since 2013-14, little did anyone know Cole’s true intentions for choosing this particular record.
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After rapping the chorus the sample slowed down and Cole asked us to listen closely. The instrumental reversed, which revealed the Dreamvillain’s standout single ‘Neighbors’.
In the moment I was stunned to see his creative process materialized on stage. However, I wasn’t truly convinced it was simply a reversed sample that made this beat, which inspired the song about the SWAT team raiding his studio. My doubt led me to the YouTube channel of music producer Carlo James Maaliw, who ended up proving Cole’s godly status as a producer.
Looking more into Maaliw’s channel, I found that ‘Forbidden Fruit’ wasn’t the only instrumental from Cole’s discography that reversed a sample to create an entirely new record.
On Logic’s third studio album Everybody, the final song ‘AfriAryaN’ features J. Cole spitting a verse at the end that fans titled ‘Acceptance’. His portion of the song samples a reversed version of Hi-Fi Set’s 1975 record ‘Sky Restaurant’, which was previously used on 2014 Forest Hills Drive‘s ‘January 28th’.
And though Kendrick Lamar doesn’t deem himself as a music producer, the sample on DAMN. takes on the aforementioned music producing concept. ‘LOYALTY.’ is actually a constant loop of the intro from Bruno Mars’ ’24K Magic’.
Who would have thought it takes nothing but a reversed sample to make an entirely new song. Subscribe to Carlo James Maaliw’s YouTube channel in hopes that he provides more assurance for any doubt.