Discussed: Willie Hutch “I Choose You” samples, hip-hop appropriation, Three 6 Mafia
The Impact of “I Choose You” Samples in Hip-Hop
“I Choose You” by Willie Hutch is not just a song but a cultural phenomenon transcending time and genres. It’s a classic masterpiece, used as a backdrop to narrate various tales of love, loss, and celebration in countless songs over the decades. From the soul-stirring lyrics to the melodious hooks, each aspect of Willie Hutch’s “I Choose You” has been sampled, appreciated, and recreated in fascinating ways. Listen below:
Learn more about soul music sampling icons: Willie Hutch Samples in Hip-Hop
The Art of Sampling
Before we delve deeper, let’s first understand what sampling is? Well, in the simplest terms, sampling is using a portion, or “sample,” of a sound recording in another recording. It’s a creative process, and when done right, it’s an art form in its own right.
We delve more into hip-hop sampling in The Anatomy of Hip-Hop Sampling
Willie Hutch’s “I Choose You” has been an exquisite example of this art form. The song has been generously sampled, proving it’s a timeless piece resonating with numerous artists across genres.
The Beginning: Willie Hutch’s “I Choose You”
Born in Los Angeles in 1944, Willie McKinley Hutchison, better known as Willie Hutch, signed with the legendary Motown Records in the early 1970s. His song “I Choose You” came to life as part of the Blaxploitation soundtrack for the 1973 film “The Mack.” From then onwards, it has been an inspiration for a myriad of artists.
Willie Hutch “I Choose You” | List of Songs
“Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” by UGK feat. OutKast (2007)
UGK’s iconic track “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” features OutKast and is a tribute to the 1973 Willie Hutch song, “I Choose You.” This track is highly regarded in the hip-hop world and known for its compelling lyrics and catchy beats, both elements enhanced by the soulful samples from Hutch’s original piece. The song was produced by Three 6 Mafia, one of the most prolific samplers of Willie Hutch. And the music video is a must-watch.
Learn more about the Three 6 Mafia and Willie Hutch connection in our article, Willie Hutch Samples in Three 6 Mafia Songs | Complete Guide
“I Choose You” by Wiz Khalifa (2006)
Wiz Khalifa, the Pittsburgh-based rapper, sampled “I Choose You” in his track with the same name in 2006. It perfectly demonstrates Khalifa’s aptitude for blending soulful old-school elements with contemporary hip-hop sounds, producing a unique musical experience for his listeners.
“Pimpin’ (Part 2)” by 50 Cent (2005)
In 2005, 50 Cent used the sample from “I Choose You” in his track “Pimpin’ (Part 2)”. The original song’s soulful vibes provide an interesting contrast to 50 Cent’s hard-hitting rap style, creating an intriguing musical blend.
“Choose U” by Project Pat (2002)
Project Pat’s “Choose U” track from 2002 is another song that samples Willie Hutch’s “I Choose You.” The Memphis rapper’s distinctive style and the soulful and melodic sample result in a truly engaging listening experience. This beat was repurposed later for Outkast’s “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You).”
“Crash Your Crew” by GZA feat. Ol’ Dirty Bastard (1999)
GZA, a key member of the Wu-Tang Clan, incorporated the “I Choose You” sample in his 1999 track “Crash Your Crew” featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The song showcases GZA’s lyrical dexterity and intricate storytelling, underpinned by the melodic influence of the Willie Hutch sample.
“R.I.P.” by Jake One (2008)
Producer Jake One creatively utilized the “I Choose You” sample in his 2008 track “R.I.P.” His production skills shine through as he seamlessly integrates the sample into the unique sonic landscape.
“Rap’s a Hustle” by Cormega (2001)
In 2001, Cormega’s track “Rap’s a Hustle” sampled “I Choose You.” The influence of Hutch’s soulful tune complements Cormega’s gritty delivery and poignant lyrics, enhancing the overall texture of the song.
“The Chosen One” by Jaheim (2006)
Jaheim’s 2006 track “The Chosen One” is another instance where Willie Hutch’s “I Choose You” has been sampled. The soulful essence of the original track beautifully amplifies Jaheim’s R&B vocals and soulful delivery.
“Can You Learn” by T.I. feat. R. Kelly (2012)
The 2012 track “Can You Learn” by T.I., featuring R. Kelly, samples “I Choose You.” The combination of T.I.’s smooth flow, R. Kelly’s distinctive R&B vocals, and the classic soul sample results in a standout track.
“I Did It” by Termanology (2008)
Termanology, in his 2008 track “I Did It,” used “I Choose You.” His conscious lyrics and sharp delivery are complemented by the soulful backdrop provided by the sample.
“Pimps Don’t Die by Tom Skeemask (1996)
Tom Skeemask’s “Pimps Don’t Die” from 1996 is an early example of using the sample. The vintage Memphis Rap song uses the sample to amplify the song’s raw energy, reflecting Skeemask’s unique style.
“Chooz U” by T.I. (2001)
Before his collaboration with R. Kelly, T.I. had already used the “I Choose You” sample in his 2001 track “Chooz U.” The song showcases T.I.’s lyrical prowess, underlined by the sample’s soulful elements.
“FDR DRIVE” by Dave East (2014)
Dave East’s “FDR DRIVE” from 2014 also features the sample from “I Choose You.” The sample accentuates the Harlem rapper’s lyrical storytelling abilities, creating a memorable track.
Discover more about sampling in soul music: From Soul to Hip-Hop: The Enduring Legacy of Curtis Mayfield Samples