· By OkayFuture Labs

A Song You Need To Sample

Songs You Need To Sample: Bobby McFerrin - Invocation

In the treasure trove of tracks ripe for sampling, Bobby McFerrin's "Invocation," a masterpiece co-crafted by McFerrin Jr., Robert, and Gil Bruce Goldstein in 2002, stands out as a prime candidate for hip-hop producers looking to sample something truly unique. With a tempo set at 126 BPM and stretching over 7 minutes, this track offers a vast landscape of sounds and rhythms, making it a goldmine for sampling enthusiasts eager to inject their tracks with unparalleled depth and texture.

The Voice To Die For

One of the most captivating features for anyone interested in sampling is the song's vocal swells. McFerrin's voice, a delicate whisper that resembles a prayer, offers a haunting backdrop that's ripe for sampling. These vocal elements, combined with the piano rhythms that mimic the ticking of a countdown clock, create a rich tapestry of sound that's perfect for the sampling artist. The emotional crescendos and the interplay of mournful and hopeful melodies provide a complex palette of sounds for those looking to sample and create tracks that resonate on a deeper level.

The Breakdown

Furthermore, the track's jazzy breakdown introduces a completely new rhythmic section, one that's surprisingly danceable and offers a fresh set of beats and grooves for sampling. The groovy bassline, expertly laid down by Omar Hakim on drums and engineered by Neil Dorfsman, with assistants Kyle White and Michael McCoy, is especially appealing for those looking to sample a beat that can transition into a house rhythm or a smooth R&B vibe. This section, highlighted by Chick Corea's masterful piano work, opens up a plethora of sampling possibilities, enabling producers to craft music that's not only rhythmically engaging but also rich in emotional depth.

Quality Over Quantity

The production quality of "Invocation," overseen by Linda Goldstein and brought to sonic perfection by the mixing and mastering efforts of Dorfsman, Bob Ludwig, and their team, ensures that every note and nuance is ripe for sampling. McFerrin's innovative use of vocals and keyboards, combined with the collaborative genius of the song's creators, has produced a musical piece that transcends typical genre boundaries, offering a vast playground for sampling aficionados.

The Essence Of The Song

In essence, "Invocation" is more than just a song; it's a journey through sound that offers endless inspiration for those in the sampling community. The track’s unique blend of emotional vocal swells, rhythmic piano patterns, and a groovy bassline makes it an invaluable resource for producers seeking to sample from a piece that embodies both musical innovation and emotional depth. For the hip-hop producer aiming to sample sounds that bridge the past and future of music, diving into the rich sonic world of "Invocation" promises a wellspring of creative potential.

The Only Sample I've Found

DJ Z-Trip's track "Everything Changes," featuring Mystic and Aceyalone, stands out as the sole recording to sample Bobby McFerrin's "Invocation." While the song showcases DJ Z-Trip's innovative approach to blending diverse sounds, it's worth noting that the execution, particularly in drum pattern selection, didn't fully capitalize on the original track's potential. Additionally, it seems there was a bit of a miss in grasping the melody of the baseline, leaving listeners with the feeling that not all parts of "Invocation" were explored to their fullest. The track, though far from lacking in creativity, suggests there was still "meat left on the bone," hinting at untapped opportunities within McFerrin's piece that could have enriched "Everything Changes" even further.