"Ugh, rappers just steal other people's songs! Why don't they learn to play some instruments?" So says your terrible rockist friend (and at this point, why are you still friends with them?). Never mind that most beats nowadays are original compositions by musicians with strong ears for melody, harmony, and rhythm, but the older art of sampling itself is loaded with hidden meaning and careful craft. Case in point: Kendrick Lamar's summer jam contender "LOYALTY."
The track's notable for many other reasons—among them being Rihanna's guest turn as a rapper, not a hook singer—but maybe most intriguing is the funhouse mirror flip of Bruno Mars' "24K Magic" by producers DJ Dahi, Sounwave, and Terrace Martin. The loop is so warped and diced that it's nigh-unrecognizable on first listen, but as this unofficial but educational video from a YouTube producer shows, it's not all that complicated, just very clever. Reversing the intro, then pitching it up a few semitones is a cinch, but it's the microhouse-styled chops that really impress. Unfortunately, if you're like me, you'll only be able to notice these tricks and not enjoy the flawless rapping happening on top. Such is the price of knowledge. Watch the video breakdown of Kendrick's "LOYALTY." below.
Phil is a Mac scrub so he's never used FL. He's on Twitter.