My sixteen year old boys were very excited about the release of Kanye West’s new album, JESUS IS KING. While running errands last weekend, we listened to the album together and they told me what they liked about it the most. It was fun watching them be excited about an album like this, especially when a hip-hop star of Kanye West’s status releases a “religious” album.
The song that resonated with me the most was Follow God, and the sample used throughout. I told my boys that my favorite Kanye songs are often where he raps over an old song like he’s doing in Follow God. They agreed.
But what exactly is the song he’s rapping over? Thankfully that information is readily available online and it’s a song called Can You Lose By Following God by Whole Truth:
I love how the YouTube video includes a photo of the 45. It made me immediately go searching for a copy online to 1) see if any are available for sale and 2) see how much it’s selling for thanks to Kanye. Unfortunately I could not find any available to purchase.
If I found a copy, I would buy it for my boys so they could add to their vinyl collection and listen to it outside of the context Kanye uses it.
I am probably romanticizing how sampling works but here’s what I’d like to think happens…someone finds this 45 in a pile of records at a thrift store and takes it home. From there it somehow finds it way to a music producer who uses it for a Kanye sample. A record that is completely forgotten is resurrected by one of the most well known rappers of our time. Everyone has to know who the Whole Truth were now.
In all honesty…most people will just listen to the song and not care about the sample. But for me, it’s a great reason why we should always fix a song in a physical format so it can maybe someday be rediscovered. Will we be able to rediscover songs through digital services in the future? Maybe. And who knows, maybe the producers of the Kanye track simply found this YouTube video and then used it as their sample. But it’s the digging through the old stacks of forgotten physical formats that often brings out new exciting things like this.
I don’t know about you, but now I have an itch to hit up the local thrift store in search of lost 45s…