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To be honest, I only really came to know dude's name and influence within the last two years or so. Granted, I knew his music from as far back as I can remember, but the greatness of Sam Cooke far exceeds his music. Like Nina Simone, The Beatles, or Wu Tang he not only made great music but he also came to define an era. Sam Cooke's music moves well beyond the realms of arranged sound, as he has had a profound affect on what it means to be American. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn't ever heard a Sam Cooke song, he discovered and propagated the essence of soul music. Without Sam Cooke it's tough to imagine what hip hop would sound like. In honor of the great man's birthday on January 22 Potholes In My Blog released an album of instrumentals based around samples of the King Of Soul's discography. With a wide range of participants the music offers very different takes on how to fold this legendary artist into the contemporary goings ons of young American music-makers. I've got to admit though that there is only one name on the list of producers that I'm familiar with (besides Bloglin regular Steel Tipped Dove): Imakemadbeats. Back in the days when me and Greg Mishka would go to weekly hip hop showcase/battles at UCF Imakemadbeats (who was known as Nemo back then), was one of the organizers and main DJs. It's a small world, and Sam Cooke's music can really prove that. If you don't believe me then just go check how many of your favorite soul songs he wrote, or better yet check how many people have sampled his work... Download the tape here.