George Benson has had, and still does have an amazing career. From vocals to guitar, to strictly jazz to pop vocals, he has done it all, and his influence on music does not stop with his own audience. When Hip Hop producers need a smooth guitar sound to incorporate into their music, he is one of the first names that come to mind. Guitar incorporated in jazz is one of the most beautiful, harmonious sounds, but it does not get the fanfare as trumpet or saxophone. With that being said, George Benson is one of the leaders of Jazz guitar for his era, and will surely go down in history as one of the greatest to ever play.
Although we recognize Benson’s greatness, this post is dedicated to not a career, or an album, but to a single song entitled Face it Boy, it’s Over, a song which has a huge influence on not one, but two excellent Hip Hop songs that were released almost 10 years apart! Many of Hip Hop’s best producers pride themselves on sampling obscure sounds and artists, and in many cases when a song is sampled, there is a non-verbal agreement of sorts that says that song cannot be sampled by anyone else. This may be a more stricter version of Hip Hop ethics, but a more liberal approach is if a song is worth sampling, sample it regardless of who sampled it before. Some purists say that it’s ok to sample the same record, just as long as it’s not the same portion of the record. Well, this particular George Benson song is unique because it was sampled by two different producers in an overlaying portion of the song. Where one portion of the sample ends, the other portion begins. Listen to the Pete Rock produced song “I Get Physical” (released in 1995), which contains a sample from the Benson song, then listen to the Jazzy Jeff produced song “For da Love of da Game”(released in 2004), which contains a sample of the same song. Jazzy Jeff’s usage of the sample can be heard a single bar before Pete Rock’s usage of the sample. Two different songs created in two different eras, by two different people have one common origin…Mr. George Benson.