I try to layer some drums if they sound too loud. Depends on the track to make whether drums or another sounds first, typically drums. It feels awkward sometimes to make drums first tho, the melody follow-up can be harder than vice-versa. I always don't use samples purely as they are, unless the sample is extremely obscure.
It all depends on what vibe I have going in. most cases it starts with finding a sample that matches my mood. Once that is found I start to think if I want it to be hard hitting or soft beat then plan according. Once i get my a reference drum pattern set I start my chops and and begin arranging. Once finished I add more depth to the drums and fills to add depth to the track. Once I get all the ingredients in place I let it simmer til I cook up heat.
I usually start with a chord progression, nice and smooth sound that has a deep feeling to it. Then I come up with a melody based on the scale/chosen chords and build up some drum patterns, depending on the genre style and then adding a bassline to groove with it. Then I pretty much have the main hook (drop) and will create the track around it with other elements.
It really depends..
Usually I start writing some chords.
Sometimes I hit a dope sample and try exploiting it in several ways.
Other times I just make a drum rack and start trying some new ideas from there.
But now, I just try to have fun and not think too much about the process.
But, to answer your question, I usually play a lot with the sample, like chopping it like a thought I'd sound cool first,
then chopping at random places, then, reversing it etc etc, then if all this fails, I try to put some drums first and make a beat from there.