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From Adele to Shakespeare to K.R.I.T., a Brief History of “Hometown” (Video)

Posted by Nathan S. on 08/25/10 | Filed under Features, Videos, Big K.R.I.T., Incomparable Shakespeare
When Incomparable Shakespeare's new video for his "Hometown" cut flashed across my eyeballs I suddenly realized that the sample he built the song around, Adele's "Hometown Glory", has become one of the most unlikely sources for dope hip-hop tracks in recent memory, with Big K.R.I.T. also jumping on board the hometown train with "Hometown Hero". Let's take a look back at the sample's history. (My apologies if I stepping on the homey Richard's "Production Breakdown" toes here.)

Our somewhat unlikely journey begins here, with British singer Adele's hit "Hometown Glory", a beautifully sung track that instantly propelled her from an relatively unknown coffee shop singer to acclaimed U.K. sensation, a title she would go onto capitalize on by winning multiple Grammys. While she may seem like an extraordinarily unexpected inspiration for a hip-hop song, there's no denying the woman has an incredible voice. For those interested, I'd also recommend her follow-up hit "Chasing Pavement". (If a rapper flips "Pavement" I'll really be impressed.)

As far as I know, The Incomparable Shakespeare deserves credit for being the first rapper to recognize the potential of "Hometown Glory" to make a great hip-hop track on his Dec. '09 project, the fittingly titled "British Invasion". More than just Adele's hook, there's no denying the power of that piano line, and the "hometown" topic, a subject rappers know only too well.

Whether Big K.R.I.T. heard Shakespeare's cut or arrived at the same destination by an independent rout, Krizza selected the same sample for his "Hometown Hero", my favorite cut off his breakthrough "K.R.I.T. Wuz Here" project, in no small part because of his brilliant inclusion of a "Friday Night Lights" sample, which further built out the "hometown" theme. Notably, both rappers maintain the sense of melancholy found in the original.

So where do we go from here? We've by no means hit the end of the road, but with Shake and Krit paving the way, any further samples of Adele's original are going to have to really come with it or risk looking weak by comparison. If there are other examples of "Hometown Glory" samples floating around out there, let me know in the comments below of at nathan(@)

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