As I sat at work looking forward to my first break, I noticed a post on Instagram and I almost commented “Hoax!”. The problem is that it wasn’t a hoax. Prince Rogers Nelson aka Prince, had passed away at the age of 57. This man had hits! When I was a kid I remember listening to “Delirious” and “Controversy” and as I grew up, so did his music with songs like “When Doves Cry”, “Alphabet St.”, “Erotic City” and “7”. Two of the biggest icons in my generation (Michael Jackson and Prince) have left us forever, but not their music. As I listen to his songs on the radio, I hear Hip Hop! How? The samples! So many of our favorite rappers have sampled this musical genius. The following are ten of the most recognizable Hip Hop tracks that have sampled Prince and made it Hip Hop dopeness! (There are much much more, so this is just a small taste.)
2pac – I Get Around
One of the greatest rappers in Hip Hop History has sampled Prince multiple times. On “I Get Around” the great Tupac Shakur samples “The Ladder” and makes it into a classic.
He then uses “Do Me Baby” for his west coast anthem “To Live & Die in LA”.
The Seattle giant Sir Mix A Lot uses the guitar riff in “Bat Dance” for his song about pagers on “Beepers”. Prince even had a remix with Big Daddy Kane that was never released.
MC Hammer had a mega hit with “You Can’t Touch This” and on the same album he sample Prince’s “When Doves Cry” for his mega crossover “Pray”.
DJ Quik takes the sexy “I Wanna Be Your Lover” for his autobiographical track “Safe + Sound”.
Let’s travel to the east coast…shall we? MC Lyte takes “17 Days” and flips it for the razor blade cut “Paper Thin”.
Nice & Smooth also sample Prince for their track “No Delayin” using the funky track “Starfish and Coffee”.
Even the great Chuck D and Public Enemy sampled Prince (they’ve also worked together also). On “Brothers Gonna Work It Out” Terminator X scratches the guitar riff on “Lets Go Crazy” and makes it hardcore as they get!
Jay Z and Beyonce started their romance on the 2Pac and Prince sampled “03 Bonnie & Clyde” where Be takes the Prince “If I Was Your Girlfriend” and flips it and man it sounds dope!
Lastly and probably most obviously, Arrested Development took their “spiritual” track “Tennessee” and sampled not Prince’s guitar riff, but his voice when he sings the songs title on his infectious “Alphabet St.”.
LL Cool J put him in his rhymes on “Rock The Bells” when he says,
“You hated Michael and Prince all the way, ever sense
If their beats were made of meat, then they would have to be mince”
As you can see, no matter if you were listening to east coast or west coast Hip Hop, producers loved Prince. His melodies had elements of Hip Hop and it was undeniable.
We have lost a legend! His music will live with us forever. If you ever saw him in concert, you know how talented the man was. If you try to compare Prince with Michael there is one obvious difference. Michael could never play the guitar, let alone the way Prince did! You don’t know how many speakers I’ve lost due to playing the end of “Let’s Go Crazy” on blast! We love you and will dearly miss you Prince! May the Lord bless your soul.
Ok. Ok. One More! (By Popular Request) UTFO sampled Prince’s “Kiss” on their dope track “Diss” off their Lethal LP. Kangol Kid never sounded harder than on this track!