8 reasons why Hip Hop loved Daft Punk
Daft Punk is dead! Long live Daft Punk!
There's a lot to be said about going out on your own terms. On Monday, the French electronic music duo Daft Punk called it quits with their eight-minute-long video, 'Epilogue'. In it, the robots do a very robot-y thing and blow themselves up after nearly three decades of highly influential music and tours. The children’s choir even chimes in from Touch Me with the final words “Touch me/Love is the answer/You’re home.”
It’s all very dramatic, cryptic, and could quite possibly the music world’s best troll. Or Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo have grown apart from each other after three decades. Most likely, we’ll never know much because not knowing much is a part of Daft Punk’s genuine genius.
Before Daft Punk, Hip Hop didn’t really F&$k with electronic music. The Beastie Boys famously had a “Say heck no to techno” stickers, and for most Hip Hop artists, electronic music was too fast for their liking. But Daft Punk changed the game in many ways.
There has been the slightest tinge of hate online [because nothing can’t not have hate] where people have said things like, “I can just take someone else’s song and release it as my own.” Sampling is the lifeblood of Hip Hop and sampling was the lifeblood of Daft Punk. Their songs are so smooth and fresh even to this day because of sampling and Hip Hop has to tip their hats to them for that.
2. DA FUNK
Daft Punk had bouncy and uncontrollably funky music that was off kilter but still on beat. The beats per minute wasn’t too high, and they sounded like a 1970’s sitcom theme all the while being from the future. Hip Hop loves funk and so did Daft Punk
Hip Hop has always loved Japan and anime from the get go. Even now, Lil Uzi Vert is close to completing his transition to an anime character. So when Daft Punk released Interstella 5555 – The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem in 2003, Hip Hop took notice of a full album in anime version that is still a joy to watch today.
4. NOT SUING J DILLA FOR A SAMPLE
J Dilla is about as revered as Daft Punk is and one time their paths crossed. J Dilla sampled Thomas Bangalter’s Extra Dry for Slum Village’s seminal single 'Raise it Up.' The Daft crew heard the song and loved it but knew J Dilla didn’t clear the sample. Instead of sending lawyers with cease and desist letters, Daft Punk called on Dilla to meet them. They got along well and asked Dilla to make a remix for them as ‘payment’ for the sample. In the end, Dilla didn’t have the time to do it, but got his main man, Karriem Riggins, to do it for him and Daft Punk loved it. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if instead of lawsuits for samples, people just worked together instead?
5. BUSTA BUSS
Busta Rhymes really pushed the envelope with ‘Touch It,’ his first single off his 2005 album The Big Bang. Produced by Swizz Beats and sampling ‘Technologic,’ ‘Touch It’ was an anthem for people in the club who wanted to wild out.
DJ and producer extraordinaire, A-Trak, was Kanye West’s tour DJ through the 2000s. He introduced Kanye to Daft Punk while at the Meadows Festival in New York. Kanye immediately wanted to sample ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,’ but A-Trak didn’t want it to be cheap since it was a global hit only a few years back. ‘Stronger,’ a slowed-down futuristic Hip Hop version of Daft Punk’s song hit number one, won the Grammy for best solo rap song, and went seven times platinum. A-Trak said to Billboard, “The genres were a lot more separated then. You’ve got to credit Kanye’s curiosity period. One of Kanye’s greatest strengths is identifying these things.”
“The genres were a lot more separated then. You’ve got to credit Kanye’s curiosity period. One of Kanye’s greatest strengths is identifying these things.” - A-Trak
Everyone knows ‘Get Lucky’ is one of the best songs ever because of its Niles Roger riff and the lyric’s ability to say so much with so little. But Pharell and the robots had been hanging out for a while. One song made a N.E.R.D. album a few years before Random Access Memories is ‘Hypnotize U,’ which sounds like if ‘Get Lucky’ and the “Milkshake’ Remix had a bastard love child.
8. THE WEEKND
As far as anyone in modern music, The Weeknd is a serial collaborator. He works with anyone and everyone, and that included Daft Punk. In four days in Paris, they made ‘Starboy,’ both artists first number one hits, and ‘I Feel It Coming,’ a Billboard number two. The songs have stood the test of time and The Weeknd even started off his SuperBowl performance with ‘Starboy.’