The Spin on Original and Sampled Tracks

Hosts, Joe Watson and Toby Brazwell, connect the musical dots between legendary tracks and the often lesser-known songs they sampled. Uncover how these epic songs borrow from music of the past, enriching the musical landscape for generations to come.

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify

Donny is Too Short

| S:1 E:23

If you can look past his lyrics, you’ll find one of the most decorated artists in his genre when it comes to platinum and gold plaques. It’s Los Angeles-born, Oakland-raised rapper Too $hort who can be credited with not only initiating the Bay Area's indie hip-hop scene as well as having a hand in the birth of crunk music. In his 30 years of music, Too $hort became one of the most celebrated rappers of the 90’s and beyond, and has recorded 20 albums with collaborations all across the board: From Jay- Z, Tupac, Biggie, Scarface from the Geto Boys, and Lady Gaga... Not too bad! Joe and Toby connect the musical dots from Too $horts hit track “The Ghetto” (1990) and trace it back to an unforgettable 70’s soul singer.

What we geek out over in this episode: NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) Controller and Metroid, multiple public service announcements, Donny Hathaway & Roberta Flack, “I Thank You Baby” (1969) with June Conquest, George Benson’s cover of “The Ghetto” (2000), Leon Russell’s “A Song For You” (1970) covers - grab a box of tissues! - including Ray Charles, DMX/Bizzy Bone and, of course, Donny Hathaway’s version; “This Christmas” (1970), ‘pushing the envelope;’ and a plethora of hit records by the Oakland-raised rapper, Too $hort… and Richard Marx.

Bonus Material: “In the Ghetto” by Elvis Presley (1969)

Recent Episodes

View All

Born to Express Yourself

Riffs on Riffs | S:1 E:34
Joe and Toby connect the dots between The Material Girl and The Fame Monster and explore how these two iconic women have always done things their own way.
Listen to Born to Express Yourself

Regulate Your Doobie

Riffs on Riffs | S:1 E:33
Joe and Toby connect the dots from Warren G to Michael McDonald and see how this blue-eyed soul master influenced west coast G funk.
Listen to Regulate Your Doobie

It’s All Over Now, Jack-Ass

Riffs on Riffs | S:1 E:32
Have I told you lately, that I love this episode! Joe & Toby dive into a legend of the 90’s, Beck, and explore his folksie, funky, electronic track “Jack-Ass” (1996) and it’s moondancin’ origins.
Listen to It’s All Over Now, Jack-Ass

Should I Rock the Train in Vain?

Riffs on Riffs | S:1 E:31
Calling all rebellious spirits with green mohawks! It’s time to unite for this all-things-Clash episode of Riffs on Riffs.
Listen to Should I Rock the Train in Vain?

Connect on social media or subscribe to our newsletter