Every Sample On Beyonce's 'Lemonade' From "Can't Get Used To Losing You" To "When The Levee Breaks"
We're living in a post-Lemonade world, and all we can do now is obsess over it. If Bey didn't reign supreme before, she certainly does now. My mind is still reeling after that insane visual album with the poetry and the colors and the costumes and all the seemingly not-so-low-key Jay Z stuff. It was so honest, so well-done, if the queen hadn't blown my mind before by "Formation," consider it in tiny chunks of brain matter now. But part of being a ruling monarch is also supporting other royalty (though they may not be as queenly as you), and Bey pulled that off to by sampling all sorts of artists in the album. The following a list of every sample on Beyoncé’s Lemonade.
Bey proved her versatility with her selections, which included everyone from Andy Williams to Soulja Boy. I honestly didn't even realize any of these songs were sampled, but, now that I know, I'm even more stoked on Lemonade. It appears it's time to re-listen (over and over) to really feel the gist of the samples as to really bathe and bask in the creativity that is Beyoncé and her writing team.
1. "Can't Get Used To Losing You" From Andy Williams
Who can forget the song "Hold Up," in which Beyoncé rocks a floaty yellow dress and hits stuff with a bat? It's wonderful, and a bit scary. This song is the perfect song to sample, because it, too, has a sad meaning with an upbeat tempo.
2. "When The Levee Breaks" From Led Zeppelin
According to Blues Traveling: The Holy Sites of Delta Blues by Steve Chesborough, this song was originally recorded by the blues duo Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie about The Great Mississippi Flood, which displaced many African Americans in the 1920s. With the focus Bey puts on African American issues and the South, this song fits in for so many reasons.
3. "Walk On By" From Isaac Hayes
"Walk On By," which was originally sung by Dionne Warwick, has been covered by everyone from The Stranglers to Cyndi Lauper. Beyoncé chose the Isaac Hayes version for her song "6 Inch," probably due to its funky nature and guitar licks.
4. "Let Me Try" From Kaleidoscope
Gosh, this album is eclectic. Bey sampled "Let Me Try" in her collaboration, "Freedom," with that god-among-men Kendrick Lamar. I love her diversified tastes. I love her.
5. "Collection Speech/Unidentified Lining Hymn" From Alan Lomax And Performed By Reverend R.C. Crenshaw
What album about black culture in the South would be complete without a little African-American gospel action? For a song like "Freedom," with lyrics like "I break chains all by myself/Won't let my freedom rot in hell," this sample is perfect.
6. "Stewball" From Prisoner 22
With this sample, Beyoncé is making a comment on the criminalization of the African American male. "Stewball" was recorded at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman and led by the unidentified Prisoner 22. This is another sample from "Freedom," proving that the Queen is a genius who put great thought into everything on the album.
7. "My Girls" From Animal Collective
This song was also featured in "6 Inch." I've listened to that song 60000 times, and I had no idea. Bey and The Weeknd are so sneaky.
8. "Turn My Swag On" From Soulja Boy
The Boy got a writing credit for this Diplo, Ezra Koenig, and Beyoncé produced song, "Hold Up" because parts of "Turn My Swag On" were interpolated into the song. I didn't realize how much I missed him until he was back. It's nice to see him again.
9. "Maps" From The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
"Hold Up" also featured elements of "Maps" — specifically the lines"they don't love you like I love you."
10. The "Who Taught You To Hate Yourself Speech" From Malcolm X
Bey reminds us on "Don't Hurt Yourself" that "The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman" over images of black women looking serious-faced. It was hella poignant.
11. "Spottieottiedopaliscious" From Outkast
In the other Diplo-produced song, Bey features the horns from "Spottieottiedopaliscious." Good call, Bey, those horns are super reminiscent of those Southern vibes.
I didn't need the backstory of these samples to know that Beyoncé put a mountain of thought into Lemonade. It's just the lemon-flavored icing on the cake. Once again, Queen Bey has proved she grinds 'til she owns it. There is nothing more exciting and empowering than a woman on the top.