Earth Wind & Fire founder Maurice White will be remembered through music

By Maliik Obee and Ahjahnae LaQuer

The music world was rocked with the news of 74 year-old Maurice White’s death. White was the founder of Earth Wind & Fire and had battled with Parkinson’s disease for more than 30 years before being found dead in his Los Angeles home, Thursday.


White wrote and produced countless hits for Earth Wind & Fire over the last five decades, winning seven Grammy Awards of his own. Although the band was originally signed by record label, Warner Brothers as a jazz act, it was White’s idea to combine elements of jazz, rock and soul that created Earth Wind & Fire’s signature sound and made them popular among audiences worldwide.


Over the years, many artists have become successful by sampling tracks recorded by the legendary band.


According to the NYU Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law, sampling, or repurposing a snippet of another musician’s music is an integral part of contemporary music, especially in Hip-Hop and R&B.


Earth Wind & Fire have been sampled more than 400 times by names like Jay-Z, Tupac, Missy Elliot and Snoop Dogg.


The average student at Morgan State University is between the ages 18-23. Earth Wind & Fire was a band that dominated the music charts during the 70s and 80s. So it’s a great chance that students have heard of the group sampled in their favorite songs, even if they haven’t been to an Earth Wind & Fire concert or own an album.


Below is a list of five songs that were sampled from Earth Wind & Fire and were written by the late Maurice White:


1. Earth Wind & Fire – Fantasy (1977) x Plies feat T-Pain – Shawty

Plies 2007 hit “Shawty” featured Auto Tune innovator T-Pain and quickly shot up to #1 on the Billboard Charts.

2. Earth Wind & Fire – Brazilian Rhyme (1977) x Big Pun feat Joe – Still Not A Player

Big Pun scored big on “Still Not A Player” in 1998 with singer Joe, with the single propelling his Capital Punishment album to Platinum. It was the first album by a Latin rapper to sell a million copies.


3. Earth Wind & Fire – September (1978) x Young Thug feat Jacquees – Amazing

Young Thug’s well-received debut album Barter 6 samples one of Earth Wind & Fire’s greatest songs.


4. Earth Wind & Fire – Cant’ Hide Love (1975) x Raheem Devaughn – Guess Who Loves You More

D.C singer Raheem Devaughn acknowledged his inspirations in the beginning his career, sampling Earth Wind & Fire for his debut single, “Guess Who Loves You More”. The song would put Devaughn on the map nationwide, helping his debut The Love Experience sell over 200,000 copies.


5. Earth Wind & Fire – New World Symphony (1975) x Drake feat Omarion – Bria’s Interlude

Drake took a page from Earth Wind & Fire’s book for one of his most acclaimed tracks in “Bria’s Interlude” on his most acclaimed mixtape So Far Gone.

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