So I’m gonna talk a bit about deja vu for a second, but you’ll see where this is going. And don’t get excited, I’m not talking about Beyonce ft. Jay z. In my own words, deja vu is the feeling of having experienced something before but you can’t pinpoint just where or when, but you’re sure you know it. Now this isn’t a simple case of knowing a Gwen Stefani song from the mid-2000’s and forgetting the name (bananas? shit? round that track?), a Deja Jam is a song that you’ve heard over and over and over and you recognize it but you have not a single clue how or why you could have ever heard this before.
Now, I’ve spent a lot of time researching Deja Jams (roughly three semesters worth of radio shows), and what makes a song recognizable (even though you could never hum a bar) boils down to two three categories: commercials, soundtracks, and sampling.
An example that comes to mind when I think of Deja samples is Minnie Riperton and pretty much EVERY SONG SHE’S EVER DONE. I’ll link an album down below, and I guarantee you’ve heard at least one song before. Some honourable mentions of people who’ve sampled Minnie: Kendrick Lamar, A Tribe Called Quest, J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa, J Dilla, 2 Pac, Busta Rhymes, Aaliyah, Nas, Pharcyde, Anderson Paak, Jay Z, Pharrell, Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, and the list goes on. And I can safely say I knew all the words to Inside My Love before I actually heard it. It's a great album regardless, so I'd give it a listen.
Another cheeky sample is from Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. "I Second That Emotion" has been sampled in Sublime's "S.T.P" and covered by Diana Ross, The Supremes, and The Temptations. The sample appears at 2:45 in S.T.P, and if I hadn't heard a cover of it in a Cheerios commercial in 2010, I wouldn't have known that Sublime's version was a sample.
Commercials. A great example of a Deja commercial happened in class the last week of March when Ehrlick played a song from one of his current favourite bands, The Record Company. I immediately shouted out something about it being in a commercial and lo and behold, after a quick Google search, they’ve been in a few beer commercials. I’ll link a song down below for you, and don’t tell me it doesn’t make you go “ooooh”. In my head all I hear is "Premimum Lager... something something... Canada... Explore the wilderness... Premium Lager", and don't try to tell me you don't hear it too.
Now to re-use my own example because I’m lazy and it lends itself to it, The Record Company is a very recognizable not only because of commercials, but because of Soundtracks. Have you ever watched Shameless? Suits? Orphan Black? Nashville? Okay well then, you’ve listened to these guys then. But!! Don’t mistake this post as a definitive analysis on things you know you’ve heard before but you don’t know from where, this post has not been the point.
All of this has just been a convoluted way to introduce the Deja Jams playlist that my friends (including Rob Bull, I know it says it’s “by” Rob) and I have compiled. Some songs you’ll know the names of (Sultans of Swing, anyone?) and others will be so obscure that a quick internet search will tell you that it was the credits song from that one movie you saw once when you were thirteen (Ween? Is that you?). But anyway, hope y’all enjoy.
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