Have you ever asked yourself, ‘where would Hip-Hop be without Bob James’? You probably should. The man’s work has been sampled on countless Rap recordings throughout the years, providing a foundation on which resourceful Hip-Hop producers built legendary records. From N.W.A to PM Dawn, Run DMC to Jay-Z, there aren’t too many artists out there that haven’t borrowed from Bob’s catalog. Although he’s come to terms with his influence on the genre, his relationship with Hip-Hop wasn’t always on the best terms.
In this first installment of our #SampleStories series, we spoke with James about his own influences, his desire to break new ground in Jazz, the lawsuit he filed against DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince over the unauthorized use of his song “Westchester Lady”, his relationship with Rob Swift and much more. Of course, he also breaks down the creation of one of his most well known recordings, the highly influential “Nautilus”.