There’s no denying the enormous impact sampling has had on the history of recorded music; without it, various genres might not even exist. In a nod to the importance of the art form, each Sunday we’ll take a sample from a new release in the past week and explore other tracks that have used the same sample. This week we’re kicking things off by examining the Isley Brother’s “Footsteps In The Dark.”
This past Thursday as part of his #TBT series, Raekwon hit fans with his take on the Isley Brother’s baby-making classic “Footsteps In The Dark.” Rae paints a vivid picture of life as an everyday baller: rocking’ fisherman hats, rubbing elbows with A-list celebrities, and clubbing with $200,000 in a briefcase. While many would be concerned carrying around that much cash, Raekwon has little to worry about; we’re pretty sure if Moody’s evaluated street cred, they’d give the Wu-Tang Clan chef an AAA rating. However, with him spitting only one verse, Raekwon’s take on the song leaves a lot to be desired.
Let’s take a look at Raekwon’s peers who previously blessed this beautiful ballad, creating classics of their own.
While producers and hip hop heads can recognize the Isley Brother’s “Footsteps In The Dark” by the time the second snare hits, on its initial release the song was far from an instant classic— by Isley Brothers standards anyway. The track first appeared on the Isley Brothers’ double platinum album Go For Your Guns, released in 1977 on their label T-Neck Records. Although it never charted as a single, it did appear on the B-side to “Groove With Me,” which reached #16 on Billboard’s R&B singles. However, “Groove With Me” is actually from Showdown, which was released in 1978, after Go For Your Guns. (It almost seems that there was an attempt to break “Footsteps In The Dark” as a single.) While the slow, seductive nature of the track may have you wanting to throw it into your baby-making playlist, the lyrics actually deal with infidelity— a subject Ron Isley, aka Mr. Big, is pretty familiar with. Damn you, R. Kelly!