Hip-hop/Rap producers have a long history of sampling previous songs in the production of their new music. Most sampling comes from older hip-hop/rap songs, or older music in general, although as the genre of hip-hop/rap diversifies, so does its samples. Many of your favorite hip-hop/rap songs may be sampling music of other genres without you even knowing. Here is a list of popular hip-hop/rap songs that you may not have known sampled indie music.
1. Money Trees (Kendrick Lamar) & Silver Soul (Beach House)
‘Money Trees’, a track on Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ album, features a beat that samples the slow, melodic background of Beach House’s song ‘Silver Soul’. Producer DJ Dahi,who says he frequently pulls inspiration from alternative music, reversed the background sound of ‘Silver Soul’, added a beat and cow-bells, and created what now is ‘Money Trees’.
To find out more about this beat, and producer DJ Dahi, check out the BehindTheBeat video.
2. How U Feel (Travis Scott & Quavo) & Chamber Of Reflection (Mac DeMarco)
‘How U Feel’, a track from the new Travis Scott and Quavo collaboration: ‘Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho’, may have sounded slightly familiar to indie music fans. That’s because ‘How U Feel’ shares the same melody as Mac DeMarco’s most popular song ‘Chamber of Reflection’, off his 2014 ‘Salad Days’ album. This melody, featured in both these songs, is actually an old obscure beat by Shigeo Sekito, the World II. In both songs the melody is sped up, but in ‘How U Feel’ producers Yipsy, Carlos Desrosiers and Pad Beatz, give the melody a more metallic, and etherial vibe, giving it the perfect slow ‘drug induced’ sound.
3. She Knows (J.Cole) & Bad Things (Cults)
J. Cole’s 2013 Album, ‘Born Sinner’, has track ‘She Knows’ which samples song ‘Bad Things’ by the Cults. This song, produced by J. Cole, speaks about temptations, relationships, and hurting the ones you love, making the Cults original lyrics, sung by Amber Coffman for Cole’s version, perfect for the song. ‘She Knows’ keeps the background vocals from Cults ‘Bad Things’, “Bad things happen to the people you love”, showing how temptations can often cause you to harm the ones you love, temptation being a theme Cole speaks about a lot in his album ‘Born Sinner’.
4. Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2 (Drake) & Don’t Say A Word (Ellie Goulding)
The sample used from Ellie Goulding’s ‘Don’t Say A Word’, in Drake’s ‘Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2’ happens within the first 30 seconds of Goulding’s songs. A sped up version of Goulding’s melodic singing at the beginning of ‘Don’t Say A Word’ makes up the entire melody of ‘Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2’. Producer Boi-1da was given the a cappella Jay-Z verse, and created the beat of ‘Pound Cake’ around it. The sample of Ellie Goulding’s smooth high notes coupled with a slow bass driven beat elevates the songs classic R&B feel.
Honorable Mentions: Pop
5. Same Ol’ Mistakes (Rihanna) & New Person, Same Old Mistakes (Tame Impala)
In Rihanna’s 2016 Album, ANTI, she covers Tame Impala’s ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’. In a Rolling Stones article, Kevin Parker, Tame Impala’s guitarist and musical mastermind, states that he was more than happy to have pop superstar Rihanna cover the song. Parker was given production credits for the song on Rihanna’s album. ANTI, the most anticipated album of 2016, features songs that take Rihanna out of her pop comfort zone, making indie hit ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’ fit right in.
6. Hold Up (Beyonce) & Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeah’s)
Beyonce’s 2016 visual album ‘Lemonade’ had listeners all kinds of shook. ‘Lemonade’ takes listeners through Beyonce’s journey of acceptance, anger, and forgiveness, as both a woman who was cheated on, and a black woman who has been racially victimized for years. The hook of track ‘Hold Up’, co-written by Vampire Weekend member Ezra Koenig, features lyrics from Yeah Yeah Yeah’s song ‘Maps’. The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s were given lyrical credits for the hook of the song. This is not the only time this track samples other songs lyrics though, in the outro Beyonce sings a very light and airy version of Soulja Boy’s ‘Turn My Swag On’.