Published on May 6th, 2012 | by DrWass0
Sample Sunday: Sting – “Shape of My Heart”
Dr. Wass back again with your weekly prescription of samples. Welcome to Sample Sunday.
After graduating from the University of Florida last night, I figured some people needed love and a message……..and then it hit me; Sting and Nas.
The Sample: Sting- “Shape of My Heart”
Sting and The Police have always been a family favorite, especially Roxanne. So this would again come as a natural selection. Coming off of Stings 4th solo album, Ten Summoner’s Tale(1993), which was nominated for 5 Grammy Awards, “Shape of My Heart” was one of several songs that led this album to arguably be one of his best solo albums. “Shape of My Heart,” although not a single, peaked at #57 on the UK Singles Chart. Many people can agree, Sting makes some of the best music of our generation (and our parents’), simply by focusing on the simple sounds of instruments and his amazing lyrics and vocals. Just within the song “Shape of My Heart,” the constant references to playing cards and love allow the listener to really touch a deeper part of their consciousness and inner-self.
“He may play the jack of diamonds
He may lay the queen of spades
He may conceal a king in his hand
While the memory of it fades”
Who is Sting?
Where to begin with Sting is like asking how birds fly. There are so many layers and elements to this great individual, its hard to just generalize everything he has done for music and for the world. Sting, born as Gordon Sumner, is a musician, songwriter, instrumentalist, activist, actor and philanthropist. Starting his musical career with the multi-Grammy Award winning group, The Police, Sting was a standout from the entire group. While with the group for 5 years, they won 6 Grammy Awards from their 5 top-charting albums. After leaving the group in 1983, Sting started his solo career and released his first solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, in 1985. Throughout his solo career, Sting has made 10 solo albums, 7 of which have been certified by RIAA as Platinum Albums. Currently Sting is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in addition to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Outside of music, Sting is a well-know activist for Human Rights and is a strong advocate with Amnesty International. Furthermore, Sting has received other awards in the arts such as an Emmy and a Golden Globe.
I was surprised to find out all of the actual songs that have used “Shape of My Heart” as their sample. From Trick Daddy to Musiq Soulchild, this single Sting song has been flipped. But, the first flip came from Nas’ track “The Message” off of his 2nd album, It Was Written. Coming as the 3rd and final single off this album, it caused a major feud between both Biggie Smalls and Tupac. Although the feud between Nas and Tupac was cleared up, it was later clarified that the song was meant to diss Biggie Smalls. “There’s one life, one love, so there can only be one King.” Aside from all feuds, this is personally one of my favorite Nas songs, maybe because of the sample, but also because of lyrics and production. Included in “The Message,” were verses from “N.Y. State of Mind” as well as “Halftime.” Moreover, DJ Kid Capri had his hand in all the scratching heard on this track. Nothing more to say here than two different lyrical masters of their genre, sharing great music. Enjoy!
“There’s one life, one love, so there can only be one King.”