Category Archives: Song Sample Origins

I Cry By Flo Rida- A song that Samples From A Sample

Flo Rida
Flo Rida

If you listen to top 40 radio or have been in any public place that plays music you probably have heard the insanely catchy hit single I Cry by Flo Rida otherwise known as Tramar Dillard. The song’s chorus instantly sticks to your brain and will most likely have you singing portions of it the rest of the day. It led me to wonder where this catchy part came from. I knew from experience that it was unlikely that it was an original piece. As it turns out the song is based on what Wikipedia calls “a prominent Dutch Dance and Electro House DJ and production duo” called the Bingo Players’ 2011 single Cry (Just A Little), which they happened to have sampled the catchy chorus from a 1988 song by Brenda Russell called Piano In The Dark. Flo Rida is no stranger of sampling from a sample. He did the same thing in his 2011 hit Good FeelingApparently, just like we keep finding different things to talk over for the podcast, Flo Rida finds that he has an endless amount of hit dance songs he can rap over. It’s a creatively questionable formula that seems to work incredibly well for the Florida rapper. Below you will find links to the songs in question and our podcast review of the Flo Rida version:

The Original Brenda Russell Song Piano In The Dark

Bingo Players Cry (Just A Little)

                                                                                Flo Rida- I Cry 

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How Etta James Got Two Hit Singles Out of a Song She Recorded In 1962

Etta James
Etta James

In 2011 legendary soul singer Etta James was ailing from Alzheimer’s disease and would release her final album in November of that year. But it wasn’t a song from that album that would have her featured on two top five singles in 2011. Instead her 1962 song Something’s Got A Hold On Me, which was a marginal hit at the time, would be the main hook of not one but two hit singles. The song was first sampled  in 2006 by Colorado DJ Derek Vincent Smith, under the name Pretty Lights, in the song Finally Moving. Then in March 2011 a Swedish DJ known as Avicii  released the song Levels which sampled from James’ 1962 hit, using the opening line of the song repeatably throughout the dance song. Later that year Flo Rida evidently heard the Avicii song and thought it would be a great tune for him to rap over, which is something he does often it turns out, in a song that basically is the same as the Avicii song with his vocals between the Etta James sample and called it Good Feeling . Both songs were huge hits all over the world, with both songs peaking in the top five on the US Hot 100 chart and charted equally as high in numerous countries. The songs are heard on a regular basis at many sporting events and on numerous commercials. Unfortunately for Etta James very few of the people dancing to these songs are aware of the origins of the vocals in the song. Which is why I am fundamentally against sampling in music, because the original artist rarely gets credit for their contribution to these hits. It is worth mentioning that both artists were among the many to offer condolences to the soul legend after her death in 2012.  Below are the three songs:

Here is the original 1962 song Something’s Got A Hold On Me

The Dance Hit Levels, By Avicii

Good Feeling By Flo Rida