The Amen Break is a 5.2 second drum sample. Yet, these 5.2 seconds have spawned entire sub-genres of music – jungle, drum-and-bass. It also served to jump start early hip hop and sample-based music.
The origin of the Amen Break goes back to a 1969 recording by The Winstons. The 4-bar sample comes from a Drum Solo in the middle of the song “Amen, Brother”. The solo was played by Gregory Sylvester “G. C.” Coleman.
“Amen, Brother” was the B-side to The Winston’s Grammy winning hit single “Color Him Father”.
The break has been used by countless artists, producers, and DJs. However, The Winstons have never received any royalties for the sampling.
Watch a comprehensive video documenting the Amen Break: