With the summer months unfortunately winding down, one track in particular comes to mind for today’s sample. “Dear Summer” by Jay-Z is a song that always seems to get a lot of play during the summer and has been a summer anthem since its release in 2005. The song was sampled from Weldon Irvine’s “Morning Sunrise”.
Weldon Irvine was born in Hampton, Virginia on October 27, 1943. He moved to New York City in 1965 and became a mentor for many New York hip-hop legends including Q-Tip and Mos Def. He also served as the band leader for jazz singer Nina Simone.
He wrote over 500 songs including “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” that was performed live by Nina Simone which became a central song in the Civil Rights movement. Irvine made a compilation of original songs by hip-hop, jazz, funk, and R&B artists to respond to the shooting of Amadou Diallo in 1999 which was his last project.
Irvine committed suicide outside of EAB Plaza and in front of the Nassau Coliseum located in Uniondale, New York on April 9, 2002. In 2004, Madlib produced a tribute to Weldon Irvine, A Tribute to Brother Weldon.