It shouldn’t be a surprise that the bandleader who considered every instrument a drum would be responsible for giving the world one of the most widely sampled drum breaks of all time. Performed by Clyde Stubblefield, the oft-pulled moment arrives around five and a half minutes into “Funky Drummer”; (James) Brown bookends the break with a “one-two-three-four” count in and out. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson hit the nail on the head: “It’s hands down the most perfect beat you can loop—it’s very lyrical, very melodic, very rhythmic. It’s perfect. It’s magical.”
A good little ten song list, most of which you’ll probably already know the sampled loops’ origins, but there may be a couple here to surprise you. If the list went to 11, I’m sure Banbarra’s “Shack Up” would be included … and it’s the drum loop I nearly got into trouble for using. Yes, dear reader, the myth that you can’t be sued for a drum loop is just that.