The 10 craziest hip hop samples of all-time comes together when you have some of music’s most creative producers digging deep in the crates to find obscure tracks and flip them into hip-hop classics. One of the true beauties of real hip-hop is that it opens you up to so many musical genres and beautiful productions like the ones you can find on this list. Check it out and enjoy!
2 Pac – California Love
Pac’s biggest hit, where Dr. Dre took the Joe Cocker obscure rock/funk song “Woman to Woman” from 1972. The upbeat horns and the guitar riffs help Pac and Dre create THE West Coast anthem that will forever knock.
Jay-Z – Hard Knock Life
Leave it to Jay-Z, one of the greatest MCs of all-time to turn a Broadway musical into a landmark hip-hop track. Producer 45 King directly samples “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” from the original Broadway cast recording of Annie, hook included. The song was a true game changer in merging hip-hop and mainstream popular culture.
A Tribe Called Quest – Electric Relaxation
ATCQ is a group known for using jazzy samples and Electric Relaxation features not one but two obscure samples combined to create one of the group’s smoothest hits. DJ/Producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad first goes super obscure taking a brief sound effect from Ramsey Lewis’ pyschodilic “Dreams” and adding it to Ronnie Foster’s amazing jazz piece “Mystic Brew” to create a true hip-hip gem.
Dr. Dre – What’s the Difference
The Dr. makes the list again. This time he heads overseas and samples 60’s French singer/lyricist Charles Aznavour, taking his big band horns to further cement the California hip-hop sound he lead the charge in creating.
Kendrick Lamar – Don’t Kill My Vibe
Let’s keep the Cali/Europe connection going. Leading the new West Coast sound, Kendrick and producers Digi+Phonics went even deeper into Europe finding the Denmark group Boom Clap Bachelors and sampling their uber-chilled out 2013 record Tiden Flyver to create their own vibey classic.
Madonna – Human Nature
And now for something completely different. Here we have an original hip-hop record being sampled by one of the biggest pop artists of all-time. Madonna added to her list of hits with the unexpected use of the instrumental of Main Sources’ song “What You Need” produced by K-Cut. In the 1990s, this was quite the rare role-reversal and was a good look (especially financially) for one of hip-hops most underrated groups.
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth – They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)
This 1992 classic is unique for its ground breaking production style where Pete Rock ushered in new trends in sampling using intricate layers of samples to create full, rich sounding compositions and notably used horns in a way that had not really been done before. Here Rock samples a cover. Rock uses Tom Scott’s flower-powere’d rendition of Jefferson Airplane’s rock song “Today”. Choosing the folksy version makes TROY hit harder emotionally creating one of the most moving hip-hop records of all-time.
The Pharcyde – Runnin’
J. Dilla is one of hip-hop’s most creative samplers, drawing from most every musical genre. And for his classic beat for The Pharcyde he went far-out and sampled Bossa musicians Stan Getz amd Luiz Bonfa’s “Suadade Vem Correndo” going completely out of the box to create one of the most memorable records of the 1990s.
Souls of Mischief – 93 Til Infinity
The underground East Oakland group made a big splash in the game with an all-time great hip-hop debut single. Produced by group member A-Plus, the choice of sample material broke new ground, sampling a 3 second snippet from the 9 minute experimental Jazz Fusion song “Heather” by Billy Cobham from 1974.
Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit
With this record, RZA proves there are no rules when it comes to sampling. Most notably known for his rugged drums and haunting samples, here the RZA flips the script totally and samples a mid 1960’s kids TV show theme, the Underdorg! Add in drums from Biz Markie’s 80s anthem ‘Nobody Beats the Biz’ and a sprinkling of Kung Fu movie dialogue to produce one of the genre’s hardest records.
We hope you enjoyed this look at the 10 Craziest Hip Hop Samples of All Time. Check out more of our list below:
- Wu-Tang Clan Members Ranked
- Most Influential Hip-Hop Producers of All-Time
- Essentials: The Best of Ludacris
Written by @TalentedMrFord