SAMPLED examines the skeletal production of a contemporary rap, R&B, hip-hop or pop song — Where did the loop, sample, or chopped up vocal providing the backbone originate? SAMPLED gives you the history, the context, and the insight.
This week, the sample in question is taken from “Eyes Wide Open” by Australian hit-maker Gotye:
Gotye was thrust into international superstardom after his surprise hit “Somebody That I Used To Know” shot to #1 in 26 countries, inspiring countless YouTube covers and parodies in the process. Unless he can follow it up with an even more ridiculously well-timed mega-hit, Gotye seems destined to live with “Somebody” as his signature song.
Though “STIUTK” was Gotye’s breakthrough, he’s got a wealth of material in his back catalogue, dating back to as early as 2003. The record that “Somebody I Used To Know” is on (Making Mirrors) was actually released well over a year ago. That album’s debut single, “Eyes Wide Open,” was released another year before that. Gotye’s accidental rise to folk-pop royalty has been a slow burn.
If you asked Wally De Backer if he thought his music would one day be sampled on a rap song by Gucci Mane, he would probably respond with “Who-chi mane?,” or another questionable quip indicating that the inner-workings of trap music are foreign to him.
Written and produced by Gotye himself, “Eyes Wide Open” is pretty uptempo compared to “STIUTK,” with most of the instrumentation based around samples, vocal harmonies, pedal steel guitar, and notably, the world’s only “Musical Fence,” located in Winton, Australia.
“Eyes Wide Open” was recently sampled by Lex Luger, on the intro for Gucci Mane’s Trap God mixtape:
Trap God is Gucci Mane’s twenty-seventh solo mixtape, which should tell you that the Alabama rapper is one of hip-hop’s most notorious workaholics. If that’s not enough for you, he’s planning to release ten albums in 2013 alone (and I’m sure they’ll all be of the utmost quality).
You may not have expected Gucci and Gotye’s worlds to collide, but iconic Virginia trap producer Lex Luger (another hip-hop workalholic) found a way to make it happen. Luger isn’t traditionally known as a sample-based producer, but in this case, he chops a section of Gotye’s “Eyes Wide Open” verse, and slaps a healthy dose of sub bass on it, forming the basis of the track.
A high-octave plunking synth melody and Luger’s signature rapid-fire hi-hats make the intro for Trap God sound absolutely nothing like a Gotye single. This proves that trap production techniques can make anyone sound hype. Even Gotye.