2 user 5 critic

Sample This (2012)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | 13 September 2013 (USA)
1:33 | Trailer
A documentary that reveals how a forgotten record by the Incredible Bongo Band helped cement the foundation of hip hop when DJ Herc extended its percussion by playing them back to back, creating an anthem on the streets of the Bronx.


Dan Forrer


Dan Forrer





Credited cast:
Gene Simmons ... Narrator
Quest Love ... Self (as Ahmir-Khalib Thompson)
Roosevelt Grier ... Self
Grandmaster Caz Grandmaster Caz ... Self
Freda Payne ... Self
Jerry Butler ... Self
King Errisson King Errisson ... Self
Melle Mel ... Self
Perry Botkin Jr. Perry Botkin Jr. ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Renée Armand Renée Armand ... (as Renee Armand)
Afrika Bambaataa
Mike Curb Mike Curb
Mike Deasy Mike Deasy
Karen Fawcett Karen Fawcett
Ed Greene Ed Greene


A documentary that reveals how a forgotten record by the Incredible Bongo Band helped cement the foundation of hip hop when DJ Herc extended its percussion by playing them back to back, creating an anthem on the streets of the Bronx.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Documentary | Music


Not Rated | See all certifications »

User Reviews

Not What I Was Expecting
3 December 2018 | by saxyman333See all my reviews

I'll have to preface this review by saying that when I chose to watch this documentary, I thought it would focus more on early hip hop and less on The Incredible Bongo Band. This is definitely a movie about the people behind and the making to the The Incredible Bongo Band album with only about 25-35% of the film spent interviewing early hip hop pioneers. If you know this before viewing, you may have a better experience than I did.

Despite not being entirely what I expected, there was still some very interesting material in the film. I found the interviews with Grandmaster Caz and Questlove to be the best part of the film, and I enjoyed seeing the different backgrounds of the studio musicians involved in the making of the album. Frankly I feel like less time should have been spent talking about the producer of the album Michael Viner. His story is terribly uninteresting and apart from knowing which musicians to hire, the film seems to show that he had little impact on the record. He comes across as a sleazy industry guy who blatantly lied to market his record and who's only redeeming quality is that he inexplicably knows a lot of famous people (including Gene Simmons who for some reason was chosen to narrate the film). I feel spending so much time talking about him was a mistake and the focus should have been more on the musicians.

There's also an incredibly confusing scene near the end of movie where some of the musicians reunite and play together in the studio. It's one thing to reminisce about the recording sessions of old, but that doesn't mean I want to see a bunch of old guys hang out in the studio. However, I think this would have still gotten a pass from me if they had played Apache or even Bongo Rock for old times sake. However, they choose to spend several minutes showing these guys playing their version of the Hawaii Five-O theme song. Why? This song has no relevance to anything that has been talked about in the movie. As far I can tell, it wasn't on either of the IBB albums. It was incredibly confusing and unnecessary. They even have some producer made a remixed version of their TV theme homage. They could have cut this section and lost absolutely nothing. There was similar too long scene with Grand Wizzard Theodore playing for some guys break dancing but at least that one kind of makes sense because he's actually playing Apache and not Hawaii Five-O!

Despite my complaints, the interviews in the film are for the most part pretty interesting and offer insights into how records were made in the late 60's and early 70's as well as some peeks into early hip hop. If you're more interested in the hip hop side of the movie, I think the documentary series Hip Hop Evolution would be a better choice. If I remember correctly, it interviews all the hip hop pioneers who appear in this film and goes into much greater depth. Otherwise this film certainly tells a unique story about forgotten record that found new life in another genre. I just feel it focuses on some of the least interesting parts of that story.

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Release Date:

13 September 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sample This See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA


Box Office


CAD750,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Color (High Definition)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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