music / Hip-Hop

Producer Jake One taps into the sounds of Seattle in Hometown Sounds

With Serato Sample, Jake One blends funk and soul to pay homage to his hometown.

August 24, 2023
Listen to the final production Jake One created using Serato Sample 2.0 here.  

Celebrating 50 years of Hip-Hop would be impossible without exploring the legacy of sampling, one of the genre’s most important foundational pieces. Using existing art to inspire, flip and refix into something brand new sits at the culture’s core, helmed by producers constantly stretching the bounds of creativity.

With Serato’s latest cross-platform plugin Sample 2.0, and more specifically its Stems feature, producers can now isolate individual track elements that were previously unavailable by separating its stems in real-time. From there, they can quickly chop, pitch, and sync samples easier than ever before.

Producer Jake One taps into the sounds of Seattle in <i>Hometown Sounds</i>

For Seattle producer Jake One, who’s produced for everyone from 50 Cent, Rick Ross, and J. Cole to Kehlani and Brent Faiyaz, Sample 2.0 was integral in creating a new beat for Hometown Sounds, using the beat to take a sonic journey through the city that nurtured his craft.

With Stems, Jake grabbed the funk keys and vocals of soulful 70s Seattle funk classic “Darlin Oh Darlin’” by Steppen Stones and combined them with the keys and vocals of Tony B. & Teleclere’s “Is You Or Is You Ain't” to form the beat's foundations. Throughout the episode, Jake meticulously builds the production using Sample 2.0 while also sharing his earliest Seattle inspirations alongside longtime friend and DJ and engineer Vitamin D, going crate digging with Mr. Supreme, who helmed the compilation album that features "Darlin Oh Darlin'", and chatting with Tony B. about the iconic track "Fantasy Love," hailing it as his top Seattle funk record.

Producer Jake One taps into the sounds of Seattle in <i>Hometown Sounds</i>
Producer Jake One taps into the sounds of Seattle in <i>Hometown Sounds</i>

“I thought of the records I knew about from Seattle that I thought fit my production style at the moment and Tony B's stuff seemed perfect. [The plug-in] just makes anything I can think of possible with sampling," Jake told The FADER. The episode sees the producer describe using Stems to isolate the track's elements as their own parts of a larger creative palette. "What makes Serato Sample so special is you could have a sample where you're like, 'I like the vibe on this but I don't necessarily want those drums competing with the drums I'm programming, or the bass I want to play," he explained. Later adding breakbeats and percussion from drummer Benji, and bass and chords using a Juno-6 synthesizer, the track’s final hometown touch was the touchdown siren from Seattle’s Husky Stadium. “I think of the warm jazzy chords as having a connection to the weather,” Jake explained about the sounds that not only inspire him but keep him tied to the city. “There was a point where I was sampling a lot of gospel and then I played it so much that I moved on to [70s and] 80's R&B. So, it can really be anything."

Producer Jake One taps into the sounds of Seattle in <i>Hometown Sounds</i>

With his production roots in sampling, and taking inspiration from producers like Pete Rock, Dr. Dre, and Marley Marl, Jake One says Sample 2.0 allows him to take more creative risks than he might have before. “I think I will probably start sampling more modern stuff because I can take out elements that don't fit my production style,” he explains, referring to the plug-ins' ability to separate stems and use specific elements. “It’s got me going back to some of the records I always wanted to use when I first started collecting in the 90s, but there was some element making it difficult to actually put in a beat. With Serato Stems, I can just eliminate those.”

Isolating drums, keys, vocals, and even specific chord progressions throughout the episode offered the final beat depth, texture, and soul-which has been Jake's production calling card since the early 90s. For that, Jake credits his exposure to many forms of music "I was just fortunate enough to grow up on a block with a lot of other kids who were into cool music. Early funk, hip-hop," he explains in the clip. "I even had neighbors that would put the speakers out the window and just blast whatever their new favorite song was. It shaped everything about what I became as an artist."

Watch Hometown Sounds above and hear the full production here.


Producer Jake One taps into the sounds of Seattle in Hometown Sounds