Know Your Samples: Minnie Riperton
After tuning into WBLS-FM this evening and listening and swaying to a suite of hippitydippityhopheavenly songs by A Tribe Called Quest — including “Lyrics to Go,” which samples Minnie Riperton‘s “Inside My Love” and loops her incredible, extended note in the whistle register appropriately on that ethereal ballad’s climax — I turned to the Internet to research how many rap tracks sampled Riperton’s voice and/or instrumental hooks from songs that she recorded solo and, years prior, with the band Rotary Connection. Serendipity intervened when I found Ismael AbduSalaam‘s excellent blog post, which I’ve reblogged here.
For many casual listeners, Minnie Riperton is remembered as a one hit wonder of sorts for her classic 1975 single “Loving You.” That is truly a shame because Minnie has, in my opinion, of the greatest voices and octave ranges in music history. Over 30 years after her tragic early death, I take a look back on how Riperton’s music has blessed Hip-Hop culture.
Minnie Julia Riperton was born in Chicago on November 8, 1947, the youngest of 8 children. Her parents recognized her predeliction to music early on, and enrolled her in operatic training at the Lincoln Center. While she would retain her opera influences, Riperton later dropped out of college to pursue soul and rock music.
After bumping around in the mid 60s singing backup with assorted girl groups, Riperton recorded her first solo songs (“Lonely Girl,” “You Gave Me Soul”) under the pseudonym Andrea Davis, which was…
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