10 Best Rock Samples In Hip Hop

Can I sample it? (Yes, ya can!)

MF DOOM
ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)

Pinning down exactly when hip-hop emerged as an art form has been a long-debated matter for music scholars.

Gil Scott-Heron's poem The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (1971) is pointed to as one of the biggest and earliest influences on the genre.

But sampling in hip-hop wouldn't start making an appearance until the late '70s and early '80s. DJ's had been scratching, looping, and merging records throughout the '70s. With one track, in particular, being famous for making the rounds on the early hip-hop scene. Apache, recorded by the Incredible Bongo Band, would go on to be sampled countless times, with the most well-known version being a cover by The Sugar Hill Gang.

Sampling gave hip-hop artists almost unlimited resources when it comes to creating tracks. It allowed for the influences of early funk, soul and R&B records to find their way into the movement.

But, hip-hop artists haven't limited themselves to a particular pool of music to draw from. Pulling samples from rock tracks has been going on since the early days, but particularly in the late '80s to mid 90s when the golden age of hip-hop had come. Whether it's a subtle drum beat, a guitar lead, or an entire bass line, these are some of the best rock samples in hip-hop....

10. Otherside - Otherside (Macklemore Ft. Ryan Lewis)

This was a brilliant instance of a sample that not only fit a track musically but helped convey a theme, contributing not only melody but also meaning.

The original Red Hot Chili Peppers song, explored themes of substance abuse, the struggle of sobriety, the loss of loved ones and the other side of death. So, when Macklemore wrote the lyrics to his anti-substance abuse song, it was an obvious sample to go for.

The guitar part was consistent, repetitive and melancholic, lending itself to Macklemore's lyrical flow. But the sample brought with it all of those previous themes that it had been associated with when it was first released. Injecting those previously established drug warnings that Macklemore was mirroring in his own lyrics.

Expressing his concerns for young rappers and rap fans, who were getting into drugs as a means to conform to a hip-hop image, Macklemore's producer Ryan Lewis displayed his savviness in picking the most appropriate sample.

Macklemore hasn't always been taken as seriously as his contemporaries but he certainly knows how to tackle some heavy subject matters, and producer Ryan Lewis knows how to set the mood.

In this post: 
MF DOOM
 
Posted On: 
Contributor

Joshua Cooley hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.