1. 1. Jay-Z’s “Takeover” sampled The Doors’ “Five to One”
On his career-defining, hip-hop-realigning The Blueprint, Jigga went supersize while the competition was busy dining at the kids’ table. Consider “Takeover,” the introductory back-of-the-hand in one of rap’s greatest beefs (hello, Nas). Pushing the production to Holy Crap, Kanye West loaded up the Doors, as bad-drunk Jimbo wounded-animal-cried over Ray Manzarek’s piping keys and fuzzed-out bass.
4. 2. Warren G’s “Regulate” sampled Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin’
When rollin’ bones, shootin’ foes, and mesmerizin’ hos, it’s critical to soundtrack your adventures with the yacht-rock stylings of Michael McDonald. Which is precisely what Warren G. did as he rolled a Doobie of a different kind on his all-time hood-hop anthem, “Regulate.”
7. 3. Del Tha Funky Homosapien’s “Mistadobalina” sampled The Monkees’ “Zilch”
While Ice Cube was taking America on a guided tour through the streets of South Central, his cousin, Del Tha Funky Homosapien, was home watching reruns of The Monkees. Hence his answer song to the group’s “Zilch,” which opens with Peter Tork repeating the name “Mr. Bob Dobalina.” “I just kind of conceptualized who Mr. Dobalina would be,” said Del, “which is basically somebody who thinks he know what hip, he think he cool, but he’s really right off. Like he ain’t right on — he right off.”
10. 4. Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me” sampled Chicago’s “Street Player”
When cutting his 2009 smash, “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho),” Pitbull didn’t exactly tell producer Lil’ Jon, “Yo, you know what we need to be doing? We need to be sampling Chicago’s ‘disco single,’ ‘Street Player.’” That would’ve been weird. Nicola Fasano & Pat-Rich sampled the track on their 2008 banger “75, Brazil Street.” Pitbull requested that jam, which isn’t nearly as weird.
13. 5. Fugees’ “Ready or Not” sampled Enya’s “Boadicea”
Just because she spins new age melodies of such aching beauty as to make butterflies weep doesn’t mean you can sample Enya without her say-so, dammit! Fugees learned this the hard way when they jacked her “Boadicea” for their “Ready or Not.” Our favorite Irish lass sued, the parties settled, and we all went back to weeping butterfly tears.
16. 6. Nas’ “Hip Hop Is Dead” sampled Iron Butterfly’s “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida”
A track by one of the game’s finest mourning the game’s artistic demise is heavy stuff deserving of a heavy sample. Ain’t much heavier than Iron Butterfly’s “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida.” Strangely, “Hip Hop Is Dead” wasn’t the Butterfly’s first rap rodeo — Nas sampled the very same slabs of molten metal on “Thief’s Theme.”
19. 7. Devin the Dude’s “Right Now” sampled James Taylor’s “Shower the People”
You might think you know Devin the Dude from his rhyme time with Dr. Dre, De La Soul, Gucci Mane, and more. But do you know that the Rap-A-Lot vet’s favorite song of all time is none other than James Taylor’s “Shower the People”? “No matter what situation I’m in or how I’m feeling, and I wanna kind of be picked up a little bit, I put ‘Shower the People’ on and everything gets back to regular.”
22. 8. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s “Wind Blow” sampled Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”
For their 2007 comeback album, Strength & Loyalty, Cleveland’s finest called up some old friends: Mariah Carey, Akon, Bow Wow, Twista. But we’re fairly certain the album’s secret sauce was the stroke of genius to step into the Way-Back Machine in search of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” — the engine driving one of the best-selling albums of all time, 1977’s Rumours.
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