Sampling has always been part of the Hip Hop origin story, whether it’s considered borrowing, stealing, or tribute. While early out-of-touch criticism pointed to a lack of creativity, those involved have always argued that sampling records was an act of respect to the artist who came before them. Either way, sampling itself is an art form, and below are the timeless classics we love repeatedly.
Ice Cube – Today was a good day
The Isley Brothers – Footsteps in the Dark
Ice Cube’s story of a gangster’s holiday, where he raps about not being shot, robbed, or arrested, comes from the same song your uncle and aunt dance to at every cookout.
2Pac – Do for Love
Bobby Caldwell – What You Won’t Do for Love
What’s good is that Pac is completely vulnerable on this track about his feeling of lost love; what’s more incredible is every five years, someone on social media posts a throwback video of Bobby Caldwell, shocked as hell to find out he’s white.
The Notorious B.I.G. – One More Chance – remix
DeBarge – Stay with Me
If you’ve ever heard the album version of One More Chance, then you’ll know why Diddy was a genius to have BIG trade in his timbs for dress shoes and smooth out his rap flow to become a sex symbol for this 80s track.
De La Soul – Breakadawn
Michael Jackson – I Can’t Help It
It takes an insane amount of confidence to redo or add anything Michael Jackson touched, and De La Soul did that and then some, proving why they’re Hip Hop legends.
Kendrick Lamar – The Recipe
Twin Sister – Meet the Frownies
The hook on KDot’s version is “Women, Weed, and Weather,” yet, once you listen to Twin Sister’s original, you can see where he (Kendrick) got the inspiration.
Method Man & Mary J Blige – I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – You’re All I Need to Get By
Meth and Mary were so made for each other on this track that they sounded like musical off springs of Marvin and Tammi.
LL Cool J – Loungin (Who Do You Luv)
Bernard Wright – Who Do You Love
Leave it to the GOAT that is LL Cool J to transform a hold-hand-in-the-park love song into his very own between-the-sheets version.
Shaquille O’Neal ft. Biggie – You Can’t Stop Reign
Loose Ends – You Can’t Stop the Rain
The Shaq and BIG team-up is the most underrated collab in Hip Hop, and the BMF scene where Lamar sings the original before committing murder, is the scariest on TV.
Click HERE for Sample Soul: For the Culture playlist.