Written by 8:39 pm Hip Hop, Sampling, Song For Sunday

SONG FOR SUNDAY #34: Black Star – Little Brother


One of Dilla’s most intricate flips may never have seen the light of day if it wasn’t for Black Star. Little Brother is this week’s Song for Sunday.

I guarantee this will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day and it comes with a great back story. According to Questlove, J Dilla spent four hours trying to sample Roy Ayers’ Ain’t Got Time but decided not to do anything with it as Pete Rock had already used it on “In The House”. Dilla didn’t want anyone else to hear it but Questlove had other ideas and had it recorded to cassette and before long, it fell into the laps of Black Star (Talib Kweli and Mos Def) and became “Little Brother”, with the track featuring on the soundtrack for Hurricane. Now, the flip is a masterclass on how to get around an age old problem – sampling around vocals. What Dilla did was chop each non-vocalised section and rearrange them into the beat you hear. For a better example of what he did, DJ Spinna reconstructed the beat for Bling47.

In the meantime, stream “Little Brother” below.