The Amen break is a 5.2 second drum solo from an instrumental funk record called “Amen brother” performed by The Winstons. “Amen brother” was released in 1969 on Metromedia Records and was the B side to The Winstons 7″ single entitled “Colour him farther“. The Amen break was first popularised by Hip Hop artists in the late 80s/early 90s after its inclusion on the Ultimate breaks & Beats series compiled and edited by Louis Flores but would later go on to form the one of the key elements of Jungle music via the Rave scene in the early to mid 90s. To the present day the Amen break has been sampled hundreds of times by artists, producers and musicians from all different backgrounds and genres. From Jungle anthems like “Super sharp shooter” by DJ Zinc & The Ganga Kru to classic hip hop records like “Straight outta Compton” by N.W.A. It seems that this breakbeat has been sought after and sampled by everyone.
Check to see if you recognise the Amen drum break by clicking the clip below:
So now you are familiar with the drum break it is time to explore the Musical DNA that went in to creating such a popular sample that has been so prominent in classic Hip Hop & Dance music. Continue reading