AnimalNewYork.com Present: Sample Wars – Kanye West vs Big K.R.I.T.

Each week in Sample Wars, we’ll pit two songs which sample the same source material head-to-head against each other, to determine which one rocked the sample better.

Kanye West is on everyone’s mind these days–the Post gave Kimye top billing over Edward Snowden on its cover yesterday, and Jon Caramanica’s Kanye profile blew up the internet–so in anticipation of Yeezus’s release this month, we’re going back to the man’s debut, 2004′s The College Dropout. “Spaceships,” an album cut that was originally planned to be Dropout‘s sixth single, samples Marvin Gaye’s masterful “Distant Lover,” as does Big K.R.I.T.’s 2010 “They Got Us.”

“Distant Lover,” Marvin Gaye, 1973 (samples appear at :13, :23, :32, and 2:19): Let’s Get It On‘s reputation for excellence in babymaking belies its astounding musical sophistication, and “Distant Lover” is no exception. Its arrangement feels completely untethered and free, but everything hangs together, anchored by a subtly melodic bass line and light, in-the-pocket drums. Kanye and K.R.I.T. both lift swaths of vocals; Kanye draws liberally from the track’s opening salvo, and K.R.I.T. employs a straight loop from its middle section.

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