“Dream of Witches’ Sabbath” in modern day music

by copej

About three minutes into Mvt. V “Dream of Witches’ Sabbath” of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, I realized I had heard the tune before. But it was not because I am very familiar with classical music of the 19th century. Rather, it was because I recognized a snippet that had been sampled in a more recent track.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHYk301kjI8

This commercial was aired in early 2007 as a Nike basketball promo and features “The Second Coming” by Juelz Santana and Just Blaze. They created the rap song specifically for a Nike campaign that promoted the Nike basketball family (by family, I mean the biggest NBA superstars that the shoe and athletic gear company sponsored).

“The family that prays together, stays together/and one that walks apart, just falls apart… together we stand, divided we fall,” raps Santana. “… If you fall, get up and try again.”

Intrigued, I checked the Internet to see if Berlioz had been sampled another time in recent years.

Sure enough, I found this track. This song is explicit

I find this pretty amazing. A program symphony written in 1830 can be completely reinterpreted and made relevant 180 years later. Many see classical and rap as genres on completely different sides of the music spectrum. Looking deeper, however, there are similarities among all three pieces; maybe they are not that different. The arts are our humanity, and to me art equals emotion. These artists use the same music to evoke strong emotions: Berlioz’s piece is one of lust and desire while Santana’s is one of brotherhood and perseverance while 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, well, you can interpret those lyrics how you want.

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