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Weekend Earworms: A Proper Video Game Sample

Weekend Earworms: A Proper Video Game Sample

An estimated 98% of us experience earworms. Despite the annoying times that we can’t get a chorus or a hook of an overplayed pop song out of our heads, getting a really good earworm stuck can be one of the best things ever.

We here at Nerdist are dead-set on bringing you those types of songs, if only for the weekend. We’ll be scouring the internet for the best earworms we can shove into your meaty brains!

Hello denizens of the vast interwebs and a happy November to each and every one of you! With Nerdoween sadly behind us, we can at least look forward to what is probably my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. I’m a bit stumped on what I’ll do for a Turkey Day theme. Are there turkey based songs? (Ha! Turkey baste!) Did the pilgrims produce any sort of music? Probably not, as they were the real-life equivalent of the movie Footloose. I’ve got time to think about that – although now that I’ve said it – look forward to the all “Footloose” Weekend Earworms in a few weeks.

Already off topic and we’ve not even done a song yet. This week is a rare one-song article so I apologize if you’ve come to rely on a few random ones per edition. My intentions were actually much grander this week because I got a bit obsessed with a certain type of sampling in music. The initial idea was to have a compendium of songs that sampled video games, and boy it would have been a long read. I ultimately decided against a long list [I’m sure my editor is pleased] [Editor’s Note: I am.] because of one song in particular that stuck out to me…

D.R.A.M. – Cha Cha

That was “Cha Cha” released earlier this year by D.R.A.M. which – before you Google – stands for “Does Real Ass Music.” I decided to just feature this song for a few reasons: It’s insanely earwormy, and other than some imagery that borders on insensitive, the video just seems like it was a lot of fun to film. Additionally, any song that rhymes “mañana” with itself 8 times in a row puts Avril Lavigne’s “somebody else around everyone else” to shame.

Recognize that sample? For non-Nintendo addicts, it’s the Star Road theme from Super Mario World.

I chose to feature this song by itself because the sample in it is used so damn well. Most other songs that feature video game samples are so incredibly shoehorned in. That’s not to say that other songs that sample video games are bad, it’s just that most others feel smashed together with nothing else in mind other than “Yeah, I love that game, lets do that one”.

Additionally, the “Star Road” theme is a bit of a cha cha itself with it’s syncopated beat, and it works really well in D.R.A.M.’s song because of that. I’m not sure if the song came to fruition before or after the sample was added, but I’d prefer to think the former as the original version of the song has the video game tune in it as well. What’s important is that the Mario music only adds to the track and even if you were to take that away, the song would still stand on its own. Other songs that feature video game samples often rely too much on it or are an entirely unrelated song with the video game music clumsily pasted over it.

Having said all that, I know I’m no expert and I really do want to hear from you. Are there other songs on par with D.R.A.M.’s that offer the perfect mix of original music with that of a video game? Let me know in the comments below or share examples on the social feeds.

Also check out more of D.R.A.M.’s music and tour dates here.

Image: only1dram

Blake Rodgers writes for Nerdist from Chicago IL where he lives happily with his Guinness World Record for High Fives. You can be his pal by following him on Twitter (@TheBlakeRodgers)

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