Riffs on Riffs

Riffs on Riffs

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Riffs on Riffs is a podcast that studies sampling in popular music. Hosts, Joe Watson and Toby Brazwell, connect the musical dots between legendary tracks and the often lesser-known songs they sampled. Hear behind-the-scenes stories of musicians and their inspiration; it’s like being in the studio while an artist creates a new song from an old riff. Uncover the way these epic songs borrow from music of the past, enriching the musical landscape for generations to come.
Be Careful of Exes
Apr 10 • 36 min
Okurrr! We’ve got Carbi B and her hit single “Be Careful” and all it’s samples and interpolations ranging from Wu-Tang Clan to Barbra Streisand. What we geek out over in this episode: The Fugees epic catalog of music, Lauryn Hill flubbing at the Apollo,…
Shooting Pains
Mar 27 • 34 min
It’s the song that plays in every sporting arena ever known to man and Joe & Toby JUMP back into time to find it’s musical roots. What we geek out over in this episode: Junior Walker and The All Stars, The Cosby Show theme song, Moonglows vs. Moondog,…
Oops Upside Your Funk
Mar 13 • 37 min
Joe and Toby put the puzzle pieces of samples together for Mark Ronson’s Grammy winning hit, “Uptown Funk,” and explore its many funk-inspired beats. What we geek out over in this episode: The Gap Band Albums II, III, IV, V, VI, etc!, the incomparable…
The Way to a Little Bit of Love
Feb 27 • 34 min
Joe and Toby connect the music dots between Ariana Grande’s 2013 hit “The Way” and a fellow ballad singer from 1979. What we geek out over in this episode: The impressive power ballads of Brenda Russell, Nickelodeon’s Victorious, “What’s Up” by 4 Non…
I Know You Want a Street Player
Feb 12 • 36 min
Uno. Dos. Tres. Cuatro! Let’s connect the musical dots between Mr. Worldwide himself, Pitbull with his mega hit “I Know You Want Me” and one of America’s most prolific rock bands of all time. What we geek out over in this episode: “Street Player” by Rufus…
True Memories of Bliss
Jan 29 • 34 min
You are about to set adrift on a journey through time, where P.M. Dawn’s romantic rap ballads took hip-hop by storm and the new waves of British pop make a splash. What we geek out over in this episode: The soul music genre, saxophone solos, Bob James…
People Say You’re That Somebody
Jan 16 • 38 min
This episode recalls the remarkable life and talent of 90’s music and film sensation, Aaliyah, and the funk band that inspired one of her greatest hits. What we geek out over in this episode: New Orleans second line, Aaliyah’s hits, history of the baby…
Nothing Alone Can Stop Me
Jan 2 • 35 min
This episode will soar through the sultry vocals of pop singer Halsey and into the funky and free spirited 5th Dimension. 
What we geek out over in this episode: Power duo Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. and The 5th Dimension, “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine…
Biggie Sheets
Dec 19, 2018 • 28 min
This episode will hypnotize you with a not-so-well-known funk/soul sample from 1983 featured in Biggie’s hit track, “Big Poppa.”

 What we geek out over in this episode: Da Brat “Funkdafied” (1994), Whitney Houston “One Of Those Days” (2002), Gwen Stefani…
The Tom Tom Fantasy
Dec 5, 2018 • 30 min
Revel in the genius of Mariah Carey and the eclectic new wave sounds of a 1980’s tune that inspired Carey’s 1995 mega hit “Fantasy.” What we geek out over in this episode: Andre “Dr. Jeckyll” Harrell and Alonzo “Mr. Hyde” Brown - “The Champagne Of Rap,”…
The Hamilton Hip-Hop Mixtape
Nov 21, 2018 • 31 min
Riffs on Riffs hosts celebrate the wonders of hip-hop infused music sampling that created this miraculous thing called Hamilton. What we geek out over in this episode: East Coast hip hop group Mobb Deep, Prolific rapper Big Pun, Notorious B.I.G.,…
When Doves Pray
Nov 14, 2018 • 36 min
In this episode, Joe and Toby dive into the prolific life of Prince and how his music helped hammer a career path for a former bat boy of the Oakland A’s. What we geek out over in this episode: Purple Rain (obviously), Kim Basinger (circa Batman), Larry…
Thank You for Sittin’ In My Rhythm Nation
Nov 7, 2018 • 33 min
It’s the nation that Janet Jackson built for millions of fans across the world while interweaving a legendary funk band and a 90’s R&B diva - all in one tantalizing episode of Riffs on Riffs! What we geek out over in this episode: Bootsy Collins (again),…
Look, You Made Me Too Sexy
Oct 31, 2018 • 36 min
Let’s hop into the time machine and explore three genres across three decades of music’s iconic artists including a modern pop star, a 90’s British dance duo and a Woodstock era guitar legend. // What we geek out over in this episode: The Female Preacher,…
99 Problems and a Big Fire Ain’t One
Oct 23, 2018 • 37 min
In this episode, we’ll find out how this 80’s video legend helped eliminate some of hip hop’s biggest problems — and along the way, help Alicia Keys set the world on fire. // What we geek out over in this episode: bad music videos, Gremlins, answer songs,…
Underdog Ain’t Nuthin’ to Mess With
Oct 16, 2018 • 36 min
Grab your Pop-Tarts and a bowl of Baron Von Red Berry’s; we are going to crash Saturday morning cartoons and discover the original sounds of the genius rap group, Wu-Tang Clan. // What we geek out over in this episode: Cheerios, ASR-10 sampling keyboard,…
The Edge of Police Booty
Oct 16, 2018 • 37 min
Let’s go to the edge of an 80’s classic track with rock goddess, Stevie Nicks! We explore the origins of “Edge of Seventeen,” beginning with a legendary English rock band and ending with a diva group that made it possible for us to survive the 90’s. //…
California Woman
Oct 16, 2018 • 37 min
If it’s possible to Zapp through time and trace the iconic Tupac song, “California Love,” all the way back to one of the greatest blue-eyed soul legends of the Woodstock era… we will do it! // What we geek out over in this episode: Funk legends, Bootsy…
Season 1 Trailer
Oct 1, 2018 • 1 min
Get a little taste of what’s in store for Season 1 of Riffs of Riffs. Join musicians, Joe Watson and Toby Brazwell, as they put the spin on original and sampled tracks. From Joe Cocker to Prince, from Alicia Keys to Stevie Nicks, you’ll love discovering…