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 is taken from Schoolly D’s “P.S.K. ‘What Does It Mean??’”:

Though gangsta rap is usually attributed to the West coast, enduring Philadelphia hip-hop icon Schoolly D is often cited as one of the earliest exponents of gangsta rap. Rapper Ice-T, who often gets the nod for creating gangsta rap, readily admits that Schoolly D was a huge influence on his flow, especially on “6 In The Morning,” which directly borrows its flow from “P.S.K.”

Long before 2 Live Crew were sparking controversy for their ultra-crude lyrical content, Schoolly D was laying down violent, unfiltered lyrics about inner-city conflict in West Philadelphia. Schoolly D was one of the first rappers from outside of New York City to get national exposure, and with that came public scrutiny, as city officials began lobbying for the removal of Schoolly D’s albums from record stores.

“P.S.K. ‘What Does It Mean??’” refers to the Park Side Killers, a notorious gang that Schoolly D had reverence for. Over the reverb-soaked drum beat and vinyl scratching of DJ Code Money, Schoolly D tells a story depicting his gun-toting, drug use, and general gangbangery, laying the foundation for a brand new generation of filthy rappers. Without Schoolly D, all rappers would probably still sound like RUN-DMC.

“P.S.K. What Does It Mean??” was recently sampled by producer Dev Hynes on Solange’s “Lovers In The Parking Lot”:

Solange continues to blur the lines between mainstream-pop and indie-pop (mindie-pop?) with a new single from True, a collaborative E.P. between Knowles and producer Dev Hynes (Blood Orange). She’s still every bit as cool as her older sister Beyoncé, but Solange trades in the ornate vocal runs and elaborate choreography for eighties hip-hop samples and aural experimentation.

On “Lovers In The Parking Lot,” Dev Hynes chops DJ Code Money’s “P.S.K” drum-machine intro, and supplements it with jittery vintage synths, electronic piano stabs, and ethereal drones. Solange sounds like a strange brew of Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey on “Lovers,” and that’s a-ok with us.

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