The common name for one of the most-used sampled drum loops in hip hop, jungle, and drum and bass music, together with the “Funky Drummer” drum loop. The Amen Break consists of a 4-bar drum solo taken from the song “Amen Brother,” recorded in 1969 by The Winstons. The song is an up-tempo instrumental rendition of the gospel music classic “Amen.”
The Amen Break has been employed in many different forms, from a simple loop played at its original tempo (approximately 120BPM) or sped up to suit the faster tempos common to drum and bass. It has also been sliced and rearranged in near-unrecognizable form. The Amen Break is estimated to have been used in thousands of drum and bass songs and many hip-hop tunes, appearing on such disparate tracks as Salt-N-Pepa’s “Desire” and Aphex Twin’s “Boy/Girl Song”.