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The Six Seconds Connecting David Bowie, NWA and Skrillex

What do Skrillex, David Bowie, Salt-N-Pepa and basically every drum and bass track have in common? They've all used the Amen break, a four-bar drum solo that has become the most sampled loop in music history. Recorded in 1969, the six second sample originates from the song “Amen, Brother” by The Winstons, a funk and soul group from Washington, D.C. For many years, the solo was buried deep in musical archives—that is until hip-hop pioneer Lou Flores, aka “Breakbeat Lou,” featured it on his compilation, “The Ultimate Breaks and Beats.” Once producers caught wind of the solo, it took off, going on to change music forever.

Offbeat & Fun