Popular songs that are samples by other Popular Songs

Many of today’s hits technically are not even from ‘today’. A lot of artists rely on sampling.Sampling is the act of taking a portion or sample of a song (typically an older song) and using in another song. Sampling is typically found in the beat or the chorus of a song but it can used in a bridge or verse as well. Sampling is completely legal if done properly and almost every artist has used a sample.

When sampling comes to mind, I immediately think of Kanye West. Before he was a rapper, Kanye West was strictly a producer. He produced for Jay Z, Mariah Carey as well as many other big names. Kanye is also a huge fan of all types of music, therefore; he is a genius when it comes to samples. One of his biggest hits “Gold Digger” ft Jamie Foxx features a sample from Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman”. Kanye’s first solo song, “Through The Wire” which is known for being recorded while Kanye’s mouth was wired shut after his car accident, samples Chaka Khan’s “Through The Fire”. These two are only a small example of the songs Kanye has sampled in his songs.

Another artist who is notorious for sampling is Rapper Drake. Drake gets a lot of credit for having really smooth, calm sounding music. A lot of this credit can be given to the samples he uses. ‘0-100′ is a popular Drake song which samples “Vibez” by Frank Dukes. This one actually got Drake into some trouble with Diddy who claimed it was originally his beat. One of Drake’s biggest hits “Hotline Bling” is also heavily sampled. It samples the 1972 hit “Why Can’t We Live Together” by Timmy Thomas. Although Drake does produce the hits, it is nice to know where these hits originally come from.

Crazy In Love by Beyonce is another heavily sampled song. The distinctive horns in the chorus of Crazy In Love can also be found in the Chi Lites’ “Are You My Woman”. One of Mariah Carey’s biggest hits and one of the biggest songs of the 1990’s, “Fantasy” samples The Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love”. One of the most well known samples is Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” which has a direct lyrics sample and beat sample of Sir Mix Alot’s “Baby Got Back”

Some artists do not sample. And there are so many artists who are heavily sampled themselves. James Brown is the most samples artist with over 6000 reported samples. Rap group Public Enemy has been sampled over 2300 times while Michael Jackson has been sampled over 1000 times.

There is nothing wrong with sampling music. If it is done properly and legally then it is okay. I do think that as should begin to give more credit to the original artists of those songs. They gave us great original tracks which eventually produced awesome updated versions of those songs.


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