Cheat Sheet: Every Sample Used on JAY-Z’s ‘4:44’

By | Posted June 30, 2017
A breakdown of every sample on Hov's No I.D.-produced 13th studio album.
2017-06-30-jay-z-444-sample-breakdown
Photo Credit: Lenny S.

When news broke that JAY-Z’s 13th studio album 4:44 would be produced entirely No I.D., we assumed that, at the very least, the LP would be a cohesive listen.

Now that we have the project in our Tidal queues hands, we know that the 10-track full-length is not only cohesive but chock full of glorious soul and samples that feel tailored to fit Hov’s older, wiser, reflective lyricism.

Just as Jay's album begs for repeat listens, No I.D.'s crate-digging efforts beg for deeper analysis, so to help provide a fuller picture of the sounds that make up much of the backbone of 4:44, we've put together a cheat sheet of all of the samples used on the album—which range from hip-hop to gospel to reggae and beyond—including a stream of the flipped sample and where it appears in each song.

All praise to WhoSampled for the assistance with much of this info.


1. "Kill Jay Z"

Sample: “Don’t Let It Show” as recorded by The Alan Parsons Project
Year: 1977
Genre: Pop/Rock
Sample Appears: 2:19
Also Sampled On: Blockhead "Triptych Pt. 2"

2. "The Story of O.J."

Sample: “Four Women” performed by Nina Simone
Year: 1966
Genre: Jazz/Blues
Sample Appears: 0:11
Also Sampled On: Reflection Eternal "For Women," Fisz Emade "Heavi Metal" and Prodigy "Stronger"

Sample: Contains elements from “Kool Is Back” by Funk Inc. (A cover of Kool & The Gang "Kool's Back At It")
Year: 1971
Genre: Soul/Funk/Disco
Sample Appears: 4:40
Also Sampled On: Beastie Boys "The New Style," Jeru the Damaja "Come Clean" and Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth "Mecca & the Soul Brother"

3. "Smile"

Sample: “Love’s In Need Of Love Today” performed by Stevie Wonder
Year: 1976
Genre: Soul/Funk/Disco
Sample Appears: 0:00
Also Sampled On: X-Clan "Ooh Baby," 2Pac "Until The End of Time (Original Version)," 50 Cent "Ryder Music," Rapper Big Pooh "Let It Be" and Busta Rhymes "One"

4. "Caught Their Eyes"

Sample: “Baltimore” as recorded by Nine Simone
Year: 1978
Genre: Soul/Funk/Disco
Sample Appears: 0:00
Also Sampled On: Brother Ali "Freedom Ain't Free" and The Game "The Ocean"

5. "4:44"

Sample: "Late Nights and Heartbreak" performed by Hannah Williams & The Affirmations
Year: 2016
Genre: Soul
Sample Appears: 0:00
Also Sampled On: None

6. "Family Feud"

Sample: “Ha Ya” performed by The Clark Sisters
Year: 1980
Genre: Gospel
Sample Appears: 2:01
Also Sampled On: None

7. "Bam"

Sample: “Bam Bam” performed by Sister Nancy
Year: 1982
Genre: Reggae
Sample Appears: 0:00
Also Sampled On: Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth "The Basement," Too Short "Blowjob Betty," Lauryn Hill "Lost Ones," Chris Brown "Bomb" and Kanye West "Famous"

Sample: “Tenement Yard” performed by Jacob Miller
Year: 1976
Genre: Reggae
Sample Appears: 0:15
Also Sampled On: Black Eyed Peas "Clap Your Hands"

8. "Moonlight"

Sample: “Fu-Gee-La” as recorded by The Fugees
Year: 1995
Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap/R&B
Sample Appears: 1:15
Also Sampled On: Audio Push "Heavy" and DJ Khaled "Nas Album Done"

9. "Marcy Me"

Sample: “Todo O Mundo E Ninguém” performed by Quarteto 1111
Year: 1970
Genre: Rock/Pop
Sample Appears: 0:00
Also Sampled On: None

Vocal Sample: “Unbelievable” performed by Notorious B.I.G
Year: 1994
Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
Sample Appears: 0:21 and 0:27

10. "Legacy"

Sample: Donny Hathaway recording “Someday We’ll All Be Free”
Year: 1973
Genre: Soul/Funk/Disco
Sample Appears: 1:40
Also Sampled On: Gift of Gab "Hold On," Dela "We Will All B Free," DJ K.O. "Someday," Iman Omari "Energy" and M-Phazes "Take It From Me"

Vocal Sample: Raekwon & Masta Killa "Glaciers of Ice" (ft. Ghostface Killah, 60 Second Assassin and Blue Raspberry)
Year: 1995
Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
Sample Appears: 3:37
Also Sampled On: Sunz of Man "Shining Star" and X-Ecutioners "Premier's X-Ecution"
 

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