It’s fairly common that the same song gets sampled and used by multiple artists, but there’s one example in which this led to a bit of controversy. To today’s generation Isaac Hayes is best known as Chef from Southpark, but right up to his death in 2008 he was also an accomplished musician. One of the songs on his double album Black Moses is Ike’s Rap II.

In 1995 two artists from the same genre released nearly identical songs using the exact same sample: Portishead – Glory Box and Tricky – Hell is around the corner. Other people used the same sample, but the connections between these tracks are numerous. Geoff Barrow, who founded Portishead, worked at the same studio’s Massive Attack recorded. Tricky in turn collaborated a lot with Massive Attack in the early days. And all three were part of the ‘Bristol scene’.

While it’s been suggested that both artists coincidentally used the same sample, I refuse to believe it was merely a coincidence. If you listen to the original, it’s hard to make out exactly where the sample was lifted from and if both had been sampling the same track they could’ve used any part of the song, yet both used exactly the same bit. While Tricky’s track was released earlier, Glory Box had been written first. Undoubtedly there’s been some sharing (or stealing?) of samples, but both artists seem content on letting it be.

Here’s the original track:

And while Tricky’s track was released earlier, Glory Box had been written first.

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