Monday July 13, 2020

"Who Sampled It Better?" #14 - Tommy Butler's "Prison Song"
Posted by Steve Juon at Monday, October 23rd, 2017 at 8:00PM :: Email this article :: Print this article

[Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. courtesy Wikimedia Commons]"Who Sampled It Better?" #14 - Tommy Butler's "Prison Song"

As written by Steve 'Flash' Juon, and voted on by THE PEOPLE who read!

People who tell you to "Google it" to find out the answer to a question always assume it's going to be the top result on the first page. Unfortunately the first result for "Tommy Butler" was a detective who investigated a train heist. The second result was the song in question for this week's WSIB. Neither one of things was ANY help to me. I had to keep digging. Eventually I stumbled upon the RIGHT Tommy Butler, an actor, playwright and musician who in the 1970's wrote and produced "Selma: A Musical Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr." The ambitious project may not have been the success he hoped for, but the score for his musical tribute to MLK has lived on in samples of "Prison Song" to this day.

This vote is likely to be contentious because I'm pitting a song from a beloved underground classic against a song from one of today's most commercially mainstream albums. Chronologically they are over a decade apart and stylistically they are even further separated. The one thing that both Ant and Metro Boomin have in common is their love for "Prison Song," which opens itself up to a myriad of sampling options, and having listened to it repeatedly I'm honestly stunned it hasn't been jacked more often. While some WSIB entries may be over-utilized by producers this one is exactly the opposite.

1.) Felt (Murs & Slug) - "Woman Tonight"

2.) Future - "Mask Off"

Place your vote below and we'll have the results next week!

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