You may think you don’t know Lyn Collins’ 1972 single “Think (About It),” but you’ve definitely heard it.
The ubiquitous “Yeah! Woo!” vocal break in the middle of the track, courtesy of producer and arranger James Brown, is sampled by everyone from Kanye West to Carly Rae Jepsen to Run the Jewels. The one drum break in the middle, performed by John “Jabo” Starks, includes vocal yells from Bobby Byrd (who yells, “Yeah!”) and Brown (who yells, “Woo!”). The break (heard at 1:21 in the song) has been sampled thousands of times, thanks in no small part to its inclusion on “Ultimate Beats and Breaks Volume 16.”
Whether it be the snare sound, the tambourine loop, the vocal stab, or any other bits of Lyn Collins’ performance, “Think (About It)” contains some of the most important samples in hip hop, dance, and pop production history. Read on in this first entry of One Shots, a series where we break down music’s most iconic samples.
Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock – “It Takes Two”
Possibly the most well-known use of the sample, Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s hip hop classic went Platinum in the 90s. Speaking to NPR, Rob Base said, “First, we picked out the breakbeat… but then when I listened to the whole song, I was like, ‘Yo, this song is dope.’” Eventually, they ended up using a line from “Think (About It)” as the main vocal hook as well, but asked vocalist Rhonda Paris to re-record it for the final mix.
Kanye West – “So Appalled”
Kanye’s masterpiece My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, like all of his albums, is known for its daring sampling choices. His opus lifts sounds from acts ranging all the way from Bon Iver to Aphex Twin. Two songs off the record sample “Think (About It),” albeit sourcing from different elements of the song. “So Appalled” lifts the vocal “Woo!,” pitching it up a few semitones, distorting it, and shortening the transients so that the vocal is isolated. You can hear it around the 0:22 mark.
Kanye West – “Lost In The World”
“Lost In The World” is a little more subtle in its interpolation, as the tambourines from the break are looped once the chorus drops (at around the 1 minute mark).
Janet Jackson – “Alright”
“Alright” is a track off Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 that was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. New jack swing is known for marrying the swing of hip hop breakbeats (usually chopped up on an E-MU SP-1200 sampler) with the sounds of drum machines (like the TR-808), and “Alright” is a classic of the genre. Listen to how the “Yeah! Woo!” vocal sample from “Think (About It)” is woven throughout the song’s drum loop.
Mike Greene – “Bill Nye: The Science Guy”
A childhood staple for many, Bill Nye the Science Guy was an iconic show that broke down complex and confusing scientific concepts to an audience of youth. Perhaps a bit more straightforward was the upbeat house track created for the theme song, with its memorable “Bill! Bill! Bill!” chant. You can hear the “Yeah! Woo!” sample faintly throughout the drum break.
Carly Rae Jepsen – “I Didn’t Just Come Here to Dance”
The undisputed queen of pop had plenty of throwback sounds on her third studio album, Emotion. In “I Didn’t Just Come HEre to Dance,” interpolations of “Think (About It)” can be heard at around the 2:25 mark. She also actually covered the aforementioned “It Takes Two” with Lil Yachty and Mike WiLL Made it.
Run the Jewels – “Call Ticketron”
Processed through a heavy slap delay and layered with a persistent drum machine groove, “Call Ticketron” (produced by Run the Jewels member EL-P) makes great use of the “Yeah! Woo!” sample to give the track its bump.
A$AP Ferg – “Hungry Ham ft. Skrillex, Crystal Caines”
The dark and dissonant beat behind A$AP Ferg’s hard-hitting “Hungry Ham” uses the iconic “Yeah! Woo!” sample as well – listen closely to the vocal chops (starting at around the 0:05 mark).
N.W.A. – “Appetite for Destruction”
This N.W.A. cut, produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, is one of the few to sample Lyn Collins’ voice. Check out how the sample is chopped around the 0:55 mark.
Street Fighter III: New Generation – “Jazzy NYC (Underground Edit)”
Street Fighter III: New Generation was released in 1997, with a soundtrack composed by Hideki Okugawa. Incorporating elements of house, jungle, drum & bass, and hip hop, its incorporation of “Think (About It)” feels like a natural fit. Listen to how the “Yeah! Woo!” sample is used as a driving rhythmic component for the song.
The list goes on and on, including DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Jamie XX, Katy Perry, Skrillex, Fergie, Madonna, Boyz II Men, Joyryde, Logic, Desiigner, and so many more. Hear them all in our Spotify playlist below and stay tuned for more One Shots.
April 11, 2019