Friday, June 26, 2009

The Top 10 Rap Songs That Sample Michael Jackson

Some mourn in silence, some celebrate by dancing to classic tunes. I write rap lists. Here is my List of the 10 Best Rap Songs to sample Michael Jackson. Enjoy.


Lamont's Lists
June 2009
The Top 10 Rap Songs That Sample Michael Jackson

1. Izzo - Jay-Z (From "I Want You Back" / Produced by Kanye West) - This is the song that ignited Kanye's career, setting off a string of hits where he would leverage sped up soul classics to great effect. Jay-Z matched Kanye's clever idea by bringing forth some of his most captivating rhymes: some outlandish ("Can't leave rap alone the game needs me"), some humble ("I do this for my culture") and surely his most unforgettable hook ever ("H to the Izzo").

2. It Ain't Hard To Tell - Nas (From "Human Nature" / Produced by The Large Professor) - Nas got his start from a cameo appearance on "Live at the BBQ" from a Main Source album. So it's only fitting that the lead single from his remarkable debut album would be produced by the Large Professor. Nas is magnetic, clearly destined for greatness. A young prodigy not unlike MJ himself.

3. O.P.P. - Naughty By Nature (From "ABC" / Produced by Naughty By Nature) - As big a pop smash as any rap song song ever. O.P.P. was simply contagious, thanks in no small part to the killer Motown hit-making machine that wrote "ABC", used liberally here to give O.P.P. its infectious bounce.

4. Breakadawn - De La Soul (From "I Can't Help It" / Produced By Prince Paul) - One of my favorite De La tracks ever, from the highly slept upon classic album "Buhloone Mind State". How appropriate that it comes from one of my favorite sleeper cuts from MJ's "Off The Wall".

5. Got Your Money - Ol' Dirty Bastard (From "Billie Jean" / Produced by The Neptunes) - The Neptunes incorporated the famous opening "Billie Jean" down beat at the Start of "Got Your Money", setting the tone for a catchy little tune from ODB. Kelis's sweet hook almost made you forget ODB's filthy ramblings.

6. Letter To My Unborn Child - Tupac (From "Liberian Girl" / Produced by ?) - Pac at his eerie, poignant best. The "Liberian Girl" sample contributes to the somber mood.

7. You Ain't A Killer - Big Pun (From "With A Child's Heart" / Produced by Young Lord) - Producer Young Lord lifts a nasty baseline from an unsung 1973 Michael Jackson track. Big Pun then does what he always did...spits fire.

8. Good Life - Kanye West (From "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)") / Produced by Kanye West) - Kanye's celebratory hit is propelled by a delicious sample of PYT. To say that it works brilliantly is an understatement.

9. Hey Lover - LL Cool J (From "The Lady In My Life" / Produced by Trackmasters) - The undisputed king of rap ballads scored a Grammy by stacking the deck for this one, enlisting Boys II Men and borrowing some flavor from MJ's opus "The Lady In My Life".

10. All That I Got Is You - Ghostface Killah (From "Maybe Tomorrow" / Produced by Rza) - Ghostface taps Mary J to repurpose the melody from "Maybe Tomorrow". He then pours out his soul and nearly moves us all to tears.


djadvance said...

Cool post, I agree with the choices. I posted a complete list here

Lamont said...

Thanks. Love the site. What a fantastic resource.