Last week we lost a true musical force with the passing of Prince. A reporter once asked Eric Clapton what it felt like to be the best guitar player ever, Clapton replied, “I don’t know, ask Prince.” Hip hop fans have probably noticed over the years that Prince songs have sampled time and time again by some of the most well known rappers in the game. Here’s five of our favorites:
“Big Brother” – Kanye West
Sampled from the Prince song “It’s Gonna Be Lovely”, Kanye has received Prince comparisons due to his wide ranging and eclectic music as well as his own personal eccentricities. A key difference between the two would be their affinity for the spotlight or lack thereof in Prince’s case.
“To Live and Die In LA” – Tupac Shakur
Tupac and his producer QDIII sampled Prince’s 1981 hit “Do me, Baby” for this track. Tupac himself described encountering Prince at a nightclub as one of his favorite celebrity encounters.
“Tennessee” – Arrested Development
1993 Grammy winner Arrested Development scored their biggest hit with this track and it is probably no coincidence that they were grabbing the track from the Purple Rain star. This one was from Prince’s 1988 hit “Alphabet St.”
“God Made Me Funkee” – Kool Moe Dee
“Do U Lie” was the Prince song that the Rap God sampled from in 1989. And even without hearing the track you could have a pretty good idea that Prince was involved with the song based upon the title alone, “God Make Me Funke”.
“03 Bonnie and Clyde” – Jay Z ft Beyonce
A song that announced the arrival of Jay Z and Beyonce as the power couple of hip hop was produced by Kanye and with one of his first big budget productions he sampled parts of Prince’s classic “If I was Your Girlfriend”.