Vancouver is known as being the origin of the California Roll, Greenpeace, the Occupy movement, umbrella etiquette, mass-produced yoga pants, fake snow, and Chinese buffets but did you know that we can add hip hop to the list? As Questlove from The Roots says, “Not everything cool came from Detroit or Muscle Shoals. This came from Vancouver, Canada.” This is all explained in Dan Forrer’s new movie Sample This, which will be screened in Vancouver on Monday, November 18th.
Released in Canada and the USA this fall, the film tells the story of an obscure recording made at Mushroom Studios in 1973 that is credited as being the “national anthem of hip hop” because it’s been sampled so many times.
On the streets of the Bronx in the summer of 1973, DJ Kool Herc took the percussion breaks from an obscure album and extended them by playing them back to back using two copies of the same record. And changed music forever. The songs he used from that album – Bongo Rock, Apache and other tracks from the Incredible Bongo Band – are far and away the most recognized and sampled tracks in hip hop history. And guess what? They were recorded in Vancouver’s own Mushroom Studios in 1973.
Boasting a seemingly limitless gallery of eccentric characters, led by the producer and Kennedy family associate Michael Viner (whose previous claims to fame included the novelty record The Best of Marcel Marceau and the cult turkey The Thing with Two Heads) this breathlessly entertaining film draws in a dizzying number of historical and pop cultural associations, including Robert Kennedy, Charles Manson, Ringo Starr and James Bond.
This is the first local screening of Sample This and it should be pretty epic. It features Gene Simmons (Narrator), Questlove, Jerry Butler, Afrika Bambaataa, Mike Deasy, Melle Mel, and King Erisson. Tickets are on sale now for the screening on Monday, November 18, 2013 at the Vancity Theatre on Seymour in downtown Vancouver where filmmaker Dan Forrer will be in attendance.
If you would like to check out this screening, I have a pair of tickets up for grabs in a very quick contest. Here’s how you can enter to win:
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Update The winner is Conrad Olson!