From Robin Thicke to Kanye West & Rihanna: The 10 Most Famous Song Samples

 

In the music video for the No. 1 hit “Blurred Lines,” singers Robin Thicke, T.I., and Pharrell shuffle around to a seductively familiar R&B bass line. Do you know it? Alhough Pharrell and Robin denied it during a resulting 2015 copyright infringement trial, a jury agreed that “Blurred Lines” samples Marvin Gaye’s groovy 1977 party anthem “Got to Give It Up.” (UPDATE: On March 10, Robin and Pharrell were ordered to pay the Gaye family $7.3 million, according to Variety news).

Sampling music has been around since the 1960s when DJs used actual turntables to mash-up songs.  But the practice has come a long way since Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith collaborated on the 1986 remix of “Walk This Way.” Hip-hop artists like Jay-Z, Eminen, P.Diddy, and Kanye West have turned sampling into an art form.

In 2005, Kanye famously sampled Shirley Bassey’s “Diamonds Are Forever” song for his “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” ballad. A new song called “Blood on the Leaves” from his 2013 Yeezus album now gives the same treatment to Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit.” And who could forget Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love You,” featuring Rick James’ “Give It to Me”?

Now that Yeezus is available for download (as of June 18) and Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail is coming out July 4 (earlier for Samsung phone owners via an exclusive launch), MyMusicCloud is counting down our list of the top 10 most famous song samples.  For music fans, it’s a great way to remember some old favorites and discover new tunes you may not have heard. (Find them in our MyMusicCloud store for as little as 99 cents.)

Here we go …

10. Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” samples Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”

9. Robin Thicke, T.I., and Pharrell’s “Blurred Lines” samples Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”

8. Kanye’s “Gold-Digger” featuring Jamie Foxx samples Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman”

7. The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa” samples the Isley Brothers’ “Between the Sheets”

6. Rihanna’s “SOS” samples Soft Cell’s “Tainted love”

5. Puff Daddy, Faith Evans and 112’s “I’ll Be Missing You” samples The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”

4. Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love You” samples Rick James’ “Give It to Me”

3. Kanye’s “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” samples Shirley Bassey’s “Diamonds are Forever”

2. The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Puff Daddy, Mase and Kelly Price on “Mo Money Mo Problems” samples Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out …”

1. Eminem’s “Stan” featuring Dido samples Dido’s “Thank You”

Listen to Kanye West’s “Blood on the Leaves”

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