Top 10 Hip Hop Tracks That Sample Prince
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Honoring Prince with a list of hip hop/R&B cuts that sample some of his finest work.
What would hip hop even look like if we lived in a world where Prince never existed? It'd be much less colorful and funky, I"m sure, and some of its most vibrant artists would never have had the courage to step out of the box were it not for one of the weirdest artists of all time. André 3000, Kanye West, Pharrell, The-Dream, and Young Thug (so basically, all of The Life Of Pablo's squad) in particular have Prince to thank for some, if not most, of their musical and/or fashion styles, and the rest of the rap game isn't far off either. For a genre that's so often afraid of knocking down the facade of tough-guy masculinity, hip hop is made up of some massive Prince fans. Even 2Pac, one of the hardest to ever do it, fucking loved Prince.
Prince never really made straight-up hip hop (though his "helium voice flow" is traceable from Three Stacks to Kendrick Lamar in the present), but he's almost unquestionably one of the top five most influential artists in terms of shaping the genre, and not just in its early days. Not a year goes by without some new artist repurposing some part, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential, of Prince's steez, whether it be posing nude on the cover of your own album, or claiming that you're about to act "like Prince in the club" on a new track. His influence is incalculable, so absorbed into the fabric of modern music that describing something as "Prince-esque" is almost meaningless now.
But enough with the unquantifiable. Prince has also been sampled and interpolated hundreds of times by some of hip hop's biggest artists. Today, we're looking back at ten of the best instances of this. Unfortunately, Prince ensured that most of his music was near-impossible to find online, so we can only include videos and streams of the songs that sample him.