18 September 2019

"Never Been Part II" by Wiz Khalifa (Instrumental 2012)

I have an affinity for hip-hop instrumentals.  What I like about them is that the listener can think about anything he or she wants as opposed to being fed ideas via lyrics.  And that's not to say that I have anything against Never Been Part II by Wiz Khalifa, which features Rick Ross and Amber Rose, whom he would marry a little over a year after this track was dropped.  Rather I just really, really, really like the instrumental to the song.

The cover of Taylor Allderdice, Wiz Khalifa's 2012 mixtape which features Never Been Part II.
The first time I heard Never Been Part II was at a friend's house, and I was immediately taken aback not only due to it sounding dope but particularly by the fact that the instrumental features a sample from Chrono TriggerChrono Trigger is a videogame that originally came out in 1995 for the Super Nintendo and is considered by many to that console's finale project.  The game itself is highly-acclaimed, and that extends to its music score, which has even been performed by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.

Most of the tunes were composed by a Japanese artist named Yasunori Mitsuda, who specializes in music for use in video games.  The tracks he created for Chrono Trigger which is relevant to this post is called Secret of the Forest.  You can have a listen to it below:

This is the selfsame song that is sampled in Wiz Khalifa's Never Been Part II, which was produced by Sledgren, a Grammy-nominated artist from Pennsylvania and one of Wiz's regular collaborators.  Have a listen to the way he flipped it:


I mean that's some international collaborating for your ass.  And it clearly lets me know that Sledgren at least must've also been a fan of Chrono Trigger.

CONCLUSION

A lot of people see sampling as a form of plagiarism, but to me it's an art form.  Like it amazes me how someone can take a 1990's videogame tune - as impressive as it may be - and transform it into a hip-hop instrumental.  In fact it makes me very interested in listening to other Wiz Khalifa that Sledgren has produced, especially for Wiz Khalifa, such as the original version of Never Been, in which he also sampled one of Yasunori Mitsuda's Chrono Trigger tracks.