One of the Most Sampled Composers in Hip Hop– Galt MacDermot

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Last night DJ Jeremy Sole kicked off his show with a song I’ve never heard before and I just loved it. It was a “driveway moment” for me, I couldn’t get out until it was over. This morning, I checked his playlist and it was a peculiar name I’ve never heard — Galt MacDermot. The song was “Coffee Cold.” I emailed Jeremy to ask who this mysterious person was, only to find out he is one of the most ubiquitous soundtrack musicians of the ’60s– and one of the most sampled composers in Hip Hop.  “Coffee Cold,” it turns out, is off the soundtrack for the “Thomas Crown Affair.”

And was sampled by Handsome Boy Modeling School (a hip hop collaboration between Dan the Automator and Prince Paul) for their track “The Truth”:

More from Jeremy:

MacDermot is most widely known for writing the soundtrack to HAIR, but also writing and producing a million other jazz, funk albums and theater music. He used the best (and most lead-footed) drummers of that era, like Bernard Purdie and Idris Muhammad, which is a big part of why he’s so often sampled for Hip Hop.

A huge thanks to Jeremy for always turning me on to new tunes and furthering my musical education in the process! Check out his show in the archives here


p.s.: As I was typing this, KCRW Music Librarian Eric J Lawrence walked up and told me that Busta Rhymes sampled MacDermot’s song “Space” on one of his biggest hits, “Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check.” EJL – expert in ALL musical styles.