Grooves & Samples #13: Melvin Bliss – Synthetic Substitution (1973)

Grooves & Samples #13: Melvin Bliss – Synthetic Substitution (1973)

Grooves & Samples is a weekly dive into old dusty crates of jazz, funk, soul and beyond.

A 1973 B-side single by Melvin Bliss became one of the most important songs for hip hop. The beginning of “Synthetic Substitution” features an incredible infectious break beat by legendary drummer Bernard Purdie. 

This song has been sampled an obscene amount of times by some of the biggest names in hip hop and beyond. You can hear the famous break in classics like “O.P.P.” from Naughty by Nature and countless other rap standards by the likes of Big Daddy Kane, Ice-T, NWA, Public Enemy, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Gangstarr, Scarface, The Pharcyde, and the list goes on and on.

When examining the anatomy of hip hop, this song can be seen as an integral part of the genre’s skeletal structure. Check out the original jam below and a few of the hundreds, if not thousands, of tracks that were built around the break sample.

Kamir Hiam (USA) has been obsessed with hip hop culture since discovering rap as a child in the mid 90s. As curator of The Find's Stay Thirsty podcast, he is an obsessive crate digger, always looking for more dope music. Other hobbies include travel, reading, fitness, and science.