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Sample Sunday: Pusha T - "Come Back Baby"

Released in May 2018, Pusha T’s DAYTONA was the first release out Kanye West’s ‘Wyoming Sessions.’ The album is concise, only 7 tracks, two credited samples, and 21 minutes long. As his third LP release, Pusha T aimed to push his prominence as his rapper, and shoot for one of the best albums of the year. It’s currently nominated for Best Rap Album at the 61st Grammy Awards.

Today we are focusing on “Come Back Baby.” It begins with a sample of “The Truth Shall Make You Free” by The Mighty Hannibal. In his song, he addresses drug addicts and says that they can get clean with the help of Jesus. However, Pusha’s track only takes the initial address because “Come Back Baby” is all about pushing drugs, rather than moving away from them. This sample is a nice intro, but it isn’t the focus here; instead we’re looking at something in the chorus.

The chorus of “Come Back Baby” is a sample of George Jackson’s “I Can’t Do It Without You.” The original track dates back to 1969, but wasn’t released until 2011 when music from the Fame Records archives were released. George Jackson’s original song is soft, passionate, and inspiring. The sample comes in the latter part of the song, right before the refrain. There’s minimal changes to the original in Pusha’s version, maintaining the soulful nature Jackson intended. That soulful nature comes from deep inside, from Jackson singing about his own issues with drug withdrawal; a humbling tie-in for a song glorifying drug dealing. The sample is beautiful, and blends in perfectly to rest of the track. This definitely isn’t the first time a Soul sample is used in Hip Hop, and it won’t be the last, but it could go down as one of the greatest. “Come Back Baby” has the names of Kanye West and Pusha T to promote it, but George Jackson is the real star.

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