Last Tuesday, we at the Weekly were saddened to hear of the death of one of R&B's all time most memorable voices, Percy Sledge. Most famous for "When A Man Loves a Woman," a song adored by any and every living organism with two ears and a heart, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer's legacy is sure to be around for as long as there's music. While we at the Weekly knew of his music's success worldwide, we (perhaps foolishly) didn't realize how far his influence and impact resonated overseas as much as it did here. In loving memory, we present five memorable Percy Sledge samples.
Cloaka Company – "Pijama"
Early 2000s hip-hop group Cloaka Company felt Sledge's music all the way over in Zaragoza, Spain. While they all have established careers outside their group, allegedly it's due to record label politics that their work as a unit hasn't gone past releasing their 2003 debut album Verso municcione. That album contained "Pijama," a pretty cool flip of Percy's "If Loving You is Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right."
Bobby Fletcher – "Guten Morgen"
Not to be confused with the Comedy Central Crank Yankers puppet of the same name, German rapper Bobby Fletcher sampled Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves a Woman" way back in 2010 for his song "Guten Morgen." German for "Good Morning," we at the Weekly believe any morning would be a good one with a Percy Sledge sample coming out of your MPC.
Jaheim – "Impossible"
But why let rappers have all the fun with the Percy Sledge samples? That same year, R&B artist Jaheim made use of his own reworking of a "When A Man Loves a Woman" sample with "Impossible." A cursory glance at the YouTube comments shows a pretty impressive number of people who've picked "Impossible" as their wedding song, which, after all, is the logical conclusion of what happens when a man loves a woman.
JR Writer – "Soul Centric"
This is everything about 2003 all on one track. Dipset member JR Writer's "Soul Centric" uses the trademark syllable-stacking Diplomat flow over a chopped sped-up soul sample. Utilizing Percy Sledge's "It's All Wrong But It's Alright," it's one of the standout cuts on the first entry of Writer's signatures Writer's Block mixtape series.
Frank Ocean – "Non-Stop, Thinking of You"
Finally, we have a pre-famous Frank Ocean cut "Non-Stop, Thinking of You." From his days under the name Lonny Breaux, his timeless soul approach didn't fit at all in the robot-voice-loving Autotune era, and thank gosh for that. While Ocean's disowned his take on sampling "When A Man Loves a Woman," it remains a beautiful overlooked gem in his catalog.