The Washington Post

Chuck Brown’s legacy: Sampled by Nelly, Duran Duran, Eve

Those who don’t know Chuck Brown’s distinctive go-go sound on its own merits surely know him from his contributions to other artists’ music. You’ve probably heard a Chuck Brown song without even realizing it: Since 1983, when the B-Boys paid tribute to “Bustin’ Loose” in “Two, Three, Break,” Brown’s songs with The Soul Searchers have been sampled by dozens of hip-hop artists who have reinterpreted his funk beats to suit their more contemporary style.

The “Godfather of Go-Go” died May 16 at the age of 75. “Like a DJ blending records, Mr. Brown used nonstop percussion to stitch songs together and keep the crowd on the dance floor, resulting in marathon performances that went deep into the night,” wrote Chris Richards in his obituary.

Listen to some of Brown’s original songs, and the artists who sampled them. Have a favorite Chuck Brown song? Tell us in the comments.

“Bustin Loose”...

... sampled by Nelly, “Hot in Herre.”

“We Need Some Money” ...

... sampled by Wreckx-N-Effect, “I Need Money.”

“Ashley’s Roachclip” (many of the songs that sample “Ashley’s Roachclip” use percussion from 3:31 in the song) ...

... sampled by Run DMC, “Run’s House” ...

... and Milli Vanilli, “All or Nothing” ...

.. and Duran Duran, “Come Undone”...

... and Color Me Badd, “Choose” ...

... and Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be (Love Will Save the Day)” ...

... and, recently, Lloyd’s “Girls Around the World,” featuring Lil Wayne.

“Blow Your Whistle” ...

... sampled by Eve, “Tambourine.”

Brown also teamed up with Thievery Corporation for “The Numbers Game.”

View Photo Gallery: The “godfather of go-go” has died.

Correction: A previous version of this post included a song by Jake Wade and the Soul Searchers that was sampled by Beyonce. It has been removed.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts.
Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing