Throwback Tuesdays: Average White Band

Never mind the misleading band name: Average White Band were racially mixed, but still hailed from very unfunky Scotland. Amazingly, the [usually] sextet created a brand of Seventies R&B with a serious swing that sounded really American, and really soulful. Their songs were rife with juicy breakbeats, and as such have provided the sampled backbone for countless classic hip-hop joints.

Here's "Schoolboy Crush," from the band's 1975 album Cut the Cake. If you're a Nas fan, you'll recognize that beginning beat with the rattling sleigh bell -- that's the basis "Halftime," from Illmatic. Or you might recognize it (and the guitar lick) from Eric B. & Rakim's "Microphone Fiend."

Just a few other hip-hop tracks that have mined the song:

"De La Soul: “D.A.I.S.Y. Age”

Public Enemy: “Pollywannacracka”

Beatnuts: “Ya Don’t Stop”

Too Short: “Life is Too Short”

X-Clan: “Grand Verbalizer”

...and a bunch more. If you like this sort of thing, check out this web site: Samplefaq, which has a nifty search engine that allows you to search by any artist or track name. -- Arielle Castillo

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Arielle Castillo
Contact: Arielle Castillo