Hip-Hop at Fifty

Hip-Hop Turns Fifty: APM’s Top Ten Samples in Hip-Hop

11 Aug 2023

Hip-Hop at Fifty: Top Ten Samples

Hip-Hop is the biggest musical phenomenon in recent history. In fact, ten out of the top twenty songs currently on the Billboard Hot 100 are from Hip-Hop artists. It has come a long way from its humble beginnings at an underground Back-to-School Jam party hosted by DJ Kool Herc at 1520 Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx on August 11, 1973. 

The genre was born out of Funk and Soul music spun at block parties like the Back-to-School Jam in New York City by DJs like DJ Kool Herc, DJ Disco Wiz, Afrika Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Flash. These artists gave a reprieve from the trappings of city life and created a new movement of music and dance. 

Hip-Hop is a tapestry of culture and sound. The art of sampling classic beats and melodies is the cornerstone of all great Hip-Hop songs. APM is the home of many timeless recordings that have molded the hits from Hip-Hop’s biggest stars.  

Here are the top ten APM tracks sampled in famous Hip-Hop hits: 

  1. Glass Tubes by Brian Bennett”– Sampled in “Summer Sixteen” by Drake 
  2. In The Space by Janko Nilovic and Dave Sucky”– Sampled in “D.O.A.” (Death of Auto-Tune) by Jay-Z 
  3. Dealer’s Corner by Sven Torstenson”- Sampled in “All Night” (feat. Knox Fortune) by Chance the Rapper, Knox Fortune 
  4. The Loving Touch by Keith Mansfield”– Sampled in “Walkin” by Denzel Curry 
  5. Road and Rail by Alan Hawkshaw” - Sampled in “Diamond Mind” (with Nipsey Hussle & Ty Dolla $ign) by Dr. Dre, Nipsey Hussle, Ty Dolla $ign 
  6. Metropolis Notte by Paolo Casa, Gabriele Ducros, and Adriano Declich” - Sampled in “SMUCKERS “(feat. Lil Wayne & Kanye West) by Tyler, The Creator, Lil Wayne, Kanye West 
  7. Floating Illusions by Sven Torstenson”- Sampled in “Barbed Wire” by Kendrick Lamar, Ash Riser 
  8. Hula Rock by Howard Lucraft”- Sampled in “Meat Grinder” by Madvillain, Madlib, MF DOOM 
  9. Look Hear by Clive Redvers Hicks”- Sampled in “What’s Golden” by Jurassic 5 
  10. Liquid Sunshine by John Cameron”- Sampled in Like “Woah” by Logic 

Hear the originals and the reimagining of these historic APM tracks side-by-side in this playlist.  

If crate digging is your thing, be sure to check out The Real Fifth’s Crate Diggers Series. These albums come from top Hip-Hop producers like Stro Elliot (The Roots), Damu the Fudgemunk, and Funky DL who sample some of the best archival tracks from the KPM Brownsleeves and Greensleeves series

In honor of Hip-Hop’s half-centennial birthday, check out our Hip-Hop through the ages playlist for authentic archival and retro tracks outlining the progression of the genre. 

Check out our sampling website for more history and background on APM’s heavy influence in popular commercial music.

By Sarah Scarlata