Exile feat. Blu: When Nothing’s Left
From 4TRK Mind (Soulspazm, 2011)

This Exile/Blu collabo has been in steady rotation for a minute and it got me thinking about how signature and powerful Otis Redding’s voice is. Obviously, Ye and Jay’s “Otis” made this clear to but in enjoying “When Nothing’s Left,” it got me to thinking about other examples of Otis’s voice coming directly into a sample.1

One of my all-time favorite examples is this:

Grand Puba: Check tha Resume
From Reel to Reel (Elektra, 1992)

The use of the “oh oh ohs” is especially genius.

Kanye West: Gone
From Late Registration (Roc-A-Fella, 2005)

Apparently, West quite likes his Redding. I always thought this was a bit of a sleeper cut on the album but it does a great job of using Otis’s voice as part of the musical track.

Masta Killa: D.T.D.
From No Said Date (Nature Sounds, 2004)

I think Ye did a better job with this overall, but all said, RZA hooked this up nicely, especially keeping Otis’s voice in the background as part of the loop.

  1. Not to be nitpicky, but this is what would exclude arguably the greatest of all Otis samples, “Hard to Handle” on “The Symphony.”