Who Flipped It Better? Gang Starr vs. Pusha T
The Sample: Jean-Jacques Perrey - 'E.V.A.' (1970)
Jean-Jacques Perrey was a musical pioneer. We've written about his homeboy Gershon Kingsley before, as the two were credited with creating one of the first recognized electronic albums in 1970: 'The In Sound From Way Out!' Kingsley brought order to Perrey's synthesized chaos, but it was Perrey who first experimented with looping techniques in the '50s and '60s. He was ahead of the game with his use of the Ondioline, an instrument you've almost surely never heard of but whose modern equivalent is the standard synthesizer. His influence is often glazed over in histories of electronic music yet he's been sampled by everyone from Ice T to Fatboy Slim. He worked with Edith Piaf (who even bankrolled the son of a gun) and was admired by Walt Disney and Salvador Dali. Best of all, his music was humorous and whimsical, like the stuff you might expect from a Willy Wonka movie.
'E.V.A.' comes from one of his most popular solo albums, 'Moog Indigo.' It's got that outerspace zipping sound that's been sampled almost as many times as 'Nautilus.'
Flip 1: Gang Starr - 'Just to Get a Rep' (Prod. by DJ Premier) 
DJ Premier basically extracts the drum loop from four seconds into the original, strings and all. Premo was never a special effects kind of producer. He doesn't flip seemingly unflippable s--- like Havoc and he doesn't pitch up his loops like RZA. If Kanye West was a French chef (not a stretch), focusing on how the plate is presented, Preemo is an Italian chef: it's all about the pure ingredients.
You can't even tell whether Premo added anything to the drums here. It's just the little break with the bass and some select scratches. That's it. [Editor's note: After we published this article Premo let us know he did, in fact, add his own drums.]
Flip 2: Pusha T - 'Lunch Money' (Prod. by Kanye West) 
Kanye West, on the other hand, flipped the s--- out of this. People would probably love for him to do more 'Bound 2' type stuff, even though that song is pretty clearly an intentional statement: "I know you want more of this, but it's too easy now. Plus, it sounds corny." 'Yeezus' is worthwhile because it's so futuristic; retro is out. 'Lunch Money' proves it.
The beginning of 'Lunch Money' sounds like vaulting through a time warp machine. You can hear Kanye punch those chops into the beat. Listen closely to 0:59 of Perrey's song; that's where Ye pulled that metallic-sounding clang from. Then the beat does a nosedive as the bottom falls out and it turns into a Yeezus show. Hades is calling.
Both flips embody the styles of two masters at opposite ends of the beatmaking spectrum. Premo doesn't f--- around; he distills the core elements (drums, bass, piano) of his samples and engineers them to sound like they were built to rap over. Kanye, however, is about juxtaposition. It's not just the samples he chooses, but how he uses them and what sounds he puts up against them. That he can pair a happy-go-lucky sample like Perrey's with the dark, plunging sound that splotches Pusha's song speaks to how his brain works. Premo and Ye both have beautiful minds, but Kanye went to a different world with this, bringing out from Perrey's music what we didn't hear before. Premo just doubled down on what was already there.