These days, everyone loves hip-hop. But how much does the average fan really know about the building blocks that formed the foundation of the genre's entire sound? That's right, before it was all-808-everything, hip-hop used a secret (and sometimes not-so-secret) selection of classic soul, funk rock, and jazz records from the ‘60s and ‘70s to create their sound. From tiny, obscure snippets to instantly-recognizable loops, the sample-based producers of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s uncovered some truly classic musical gems that are still sought after and used today.

Thank god we've got folks like Kon + Amir to keep us digging deeper. The veteran record collectors, DJs, and producers (yeah, they basically they do it all) know all about said slept-on gems. So we decided to call them up and get them to select their all-time favorite samples. Check out their countdown, complete with audio examples and commentary from the guys themselves.

This story originally appeared on on May 7, 2010.

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