If you have played a lot of Counter-Strike, and you listen extremely closely to Kanye West, you may have heard a familiar sound.
Often when artists, especially extremely popular ones, want to use sound samples from other songs or other mediums, they’ll need to get clearance from whoever owns the sound, typically accompanied by some form of royalty payments.
The more popular an artist gets, the more they’re held under scrutiny to clear samples. Lesser known producers can get away with being a lot more loose when it comes to clearing their samples.
The announcer from Street Fighter II is credited in the liner notes of this album, however the Counter-Strike sample is uncleared and uncredited, it’s the type of thing Kanye probably thought nobody would ever notice or associate with it’s source.
The sample in question appears in the track Ultralight Beam near the 1:50 mark, on the album The Life of Pablo, but unless you have decent headphones and the volume up, you’ll probably have some trouble hearing it. Here’s the sample:
It’s really subtle and in the background, but it’s definitely there.
Rumor has it that Kanye West’s next album will feature a different video game sample on every track. The next album will be called Turbo Grafx 16, so that’s fitting.