With Ariana Grande taking over the radio with her hit single, “The Way,” fans of ’90s hip-hop may be experiencing some déjà vu. Her song samples Big Pun‘s hit, “Still Not A Player,” which reached no. 6 on Billboard‘s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 1998. Fifteen years later is back on the charts again has the backing track to the Nickelodeon actress turned pop star. However, she’s not the only R&B and pop star to take borrow from popular rap songs. Ashanti, Mariah Carey and Miley Cyrus are all guilty of reinterpreting rap songs (which reinterpreted hits from the ’70s and ’80s but we can get into that later).
1. Ariana Grande, “The Way”
Sample: Big Pun, “Still Not A Player”
Grande was five years old when “Still Not A Player” first hit the radio back in 1998. At 20, we have to imagine she has a little bit more appreciation of the Big Pun’s song.
2. Ashanti, “Foolish”
Sample: Notorious B.I.G., “One More Chance (Remix)”
The singer’s debut single spent ten weeks atop of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2002. Much of the song’s appeal was the beats borrowed from Biggie’s “One More Chance (Remix)” and DeBarge’s “Stay With Me.”
3. Beyonce, “Party”
Sample: Doug E Fresh and Slick Rick, “La Di Da Di”
“Party” is one of two songs on this list to sample Fresh and Rick’s “La Di Da Di.” In fact, the rap classic has been sampled and referenced by hundreds of artists, including Color Me Badd and Sublime. No wonder Beyonce made use of it here.
4. Destiny’s Child, “Nasty Girl”
Sample: Salt-N-Pepa, “Push It”
This is not so much of a sample as it is a vocal interpolation of Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It.” But the girl group is making use of the hip-hop song none the less. However, the song hardly had the same fire as the rap duo’s track.
5. Lauryn Hill, “Ex-Factor”
Sample: Wu-Tang Clan, “Can It Be So Simple?”
A number of artists have gone back to Wu-Tang Clan’s debut album to re-appropriate the group’s best songs. Here, Hill slows it down a bit further and fills it out with live instruments and her sultry voice.