• MarcLo - "SWNGN"

    I have a loose theory about samples and interpolations that I call the 15-20 year rule. Roughly speaking, that range of years marks a kind of sweet spot for samples—fresh enough that they're recognizable if they come from big hit songs, but not so recent that they're instantly identifiable to the casual listener. It's obviously not a rigid truth about samples, but one that starts to reveal itself loosely when you look for examples (the song that inspired this theory: Ariana Grande's "The Way," which came out in 2013 and sampled Big Pun's "Still Not A Player," released in 1998, 19 years after the release of its sample source, Brenda Russell's "A Little Bit of Love").

    Newcomer MarcLo's "Swngn" reinterprets Montell Jordan's 1995 megahit "This Is How We Do It" (which samples Slick Rick's iconic 1989 hit "Children's Story," which in turn samples jazz pianist Bob James' 1974 song "Nautilus," not itself a hit, but one of the most recognizably sampled songs of all time nonetheless). Though it falls just a hair outside of the 20 year boundary, "Swngn" shows the power of recasting the familiar in new form, playing with the spirit, melody, and lyrics of "This Is How We Do It" to create something that's irresistibly fun and smartly nostalgic. It's an homage that uses the past as funky fuel for the present.—Jon Tanners