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Audience engagement, nostalgia, and the law of reciprocity

"I've been a (G) throw up the (L)..." First Class crafts a new hit for 2022 by sampled the iconic 2007 Fergie hit "Glamorous."

Jack Harlow
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G min
Hip Hop
Angel "BabeTruth" Lopez, Charlie Handsome, Jasper Harris, Nickie Jon Pábon, Rogét Chahayed

Key Takeaways

First Class is an incredibly catchy song that utilizes an iconic sample from Fergie's 2007 hit "Glamorous." The hook of the song is the chorus where Jack embeds new meaning into the song by slowing down the sample and rapping in-between each phrase. But the iconic sample isn't the only thing that makes this song so catchy, so let's dig in to learn more.

I think the biggest thing that makes this song work is ultimately the use of such an iconic (and for many nostalgic) sound from Fergie's Glamourous. Additionally, the push and pull between Jack's vocals ("Ive been a..") and Fergie's sample ("G") makes the song super fun to sing along with. It's the law of reciprocity: Engage your audience and they'll engage with you.

🔄 Arrangement

  • 1:09-1:19: The last 2 bars of each verse change the beat up and introduce an organ and glide-bass sample that does a wonderful job of building energy up before the chorus. Such a simple change, but introducing a new sound and counter-melody really does change the energy of the beat.
  • The song starts on the chorus and immediately introduces the catchy rap/Fergie sample combo. Start your song on the chorus to introduce listeners to the hook and draw them in.

🎹 Chords

  • The song is in a minor key, and uses some beautiful major seventh chords to create a lush R&B vibe.
  • Very simple and repetitive chord progression. The verse chords are b6maj7 - 1m - b6maj7 and basically just add one extra chord from the chorus which is b6maj7 - 1m7.

🎶 Melody

  • The main melody of the song is the Fergie sample from "Glamorous." Jack doesn't sing on this, but he does a good job of rapping at a very intentionally chosen pitch that syncs with the instrumentation super well.

🔊 Sound Design

  • Lots of extra percussive elements bring the beat to life and keep your ears engaged.
  • Eagle Screeching sample: I mean, you've got to put one of these into your beat at some point.

🎛 Mixing

  • Bass hits incredible hard in the song but there is a lot of silence and time during the song without bass.
  • The glide bass in V2 has a good bit of distortion that almost sounds accidental in V2 but it helps the sound stick out in headphones/speakers.
  • The main clap snare and percussion is fairly quiet compared to the kick, vocals, and other sounds. Additionally, all the percussion has hardly any low ends sound. They really seemed to have EQ'd out any low end which makes it sound very crisp and clear.
  • Notice how they balance the volume of instruments, everything is fairly quiet and the vocals are very shiny and clear in the middle of the mix. By making the percussion sounds quiet they create the perception that the mix is louder and bigger.
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