10 Songs You Didn’t Know Were Sampled

Sampling is the art of repurposing music. Originated in the 1970s by experimental DJs who would manipulate vinyl on two turntables with an audio mixer, samples have become a staple in modern music production — especially in that of hip-hop and dance music. To honor the art, here is a list of 10 hits, and the samples you didn’t know they incorporated.

10. “Respect” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1994)

Easy Mo Bee and Sean “Puffy” Combs always managed to fill the production behind Biggie’s songs with samples. On The Notorious B.I.G.’s debut album, Ready to Die (1994), the song “Respect” incorporates a sample of the 1975 song “I Get Lifted” by KC and the Sunshine Band.

9. “Paper Planes” by M.I.A. (2007)

M.I.A.’s 2007 hit song “Paper Planes” samples The Clash’s 1982 single “Straight to Hell.”

8. “D.A.N.C.E.” by Justice (2007)

“D.A.N.C.E.,” Justice’s break-out single from their debut album, , samples the ending of the 2003 song “Me Against the Music” by Britney Spears and Madonna.

Skip to 3:40 to hear the sample used in Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.”

7. “Fade” by Kanye West (2016)

Kanye West is no stranger to sampling. In his most recent album, The Life of Pablo, he incorporates over 20 samples. For the beat on the album’s final track, “Fade,” West samples Mr. Fingers’ 1985 song “Mystery of Love.”

6. “Otis” by Jay-Z & Kanye West (2011)

When Kanye West and Jay-Z teamed up for the 2011 collaborative album Watch the Throne, it was clear the two hip-hop legends were going to use samples for the album… They didn’t disappoint. While the album contains samples from a wide selection of material — from dialogue in the movie Blades of Glory to a recording by Orchestra Njervudarov — the most iconic sample on the album comes on the track “Otis,” that samples a 1966 song by Otis himself, Otis Redding.

Skip to 1:58 to hear the part of the song sampled in Jay-Z & Kanye West’s “Otis.”

5. “Hotline Bling” by Drake (2016)

Skip to 0:20 to hear the Timmy Thomas sample.

Drake’s 2016 song “Hotline Bling” was a smash hit, to say the least. The song — and the subsequent music video — became so viral, even then-presidential candidate Donald Trump participated in a parody of the video on SNL. In the song, Drake uses a sample of Timmy Thomas’ 1972 single “Why Can’t We Live Together.”

4. “The Next Episode” by Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg (1999)

The legendary intro to Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg’s 1999 hip-hop anthem “The Next Episode” is a sample of David McCallum’s 1968 song “The Edge.”

3. “My Name Is” by Eminem (1999)

The beat for Eminem’s classic “My Name Is” incorporates a sample of Labi Siffre’s “I Got the…” from 1975. “I Got the…” has also been sampled in songs by Jay-Z, Miguel, and many others.

Skip to 2:08 to hear the sample used to make the beat for “My Name Is” by Eminem.

2. “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” by Daft Punk (2001)

Skip to 0:20 to hear the Edwin Birdsong sample.

Daft Punk have used samples of songs from the 1970s and 1980s disco scene in much of their music. On their most famous hit, “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” Daft Punk samples the beginning of Edwin Birdsong’s 1979 song “Cola Bottle Baby.”

1. “Hypnotize” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1997)

The Notorious B.I.G.’s smash hit “Hypnotize,” off his posthumous 1997 album Life After Death, incorporates a sample of Herb Alpert’s 1979 jazz-funk single “Rise.” The rest of Life After Death is filled with samples as well.

Skip to 3:23 to hear the riff that was sampled for The Notorious B.I.G.’s most famous beat.
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