We all know that sampling has been one of hip hop’s cornerstones for years, giving us ample opportunities for crate digging. But did you know that some of your favorite songs featured snippets of scores from classic films?
We take a look at hits that drew inspiration from movies and found novel ways to switch up some of film’s most memorable tunes.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images/United Artists]
Johnny Pate’s “Shaft In Africa” was sampled by …
Jay Z for “Show Me What You Got.”
Bill Conti’s “Redemption” from the Rocky II soundtrack was sampled by…
T.I. for “Whatever You Like.”
Other artists have also been inspired by Rocky Balboa’s hardscrabble rise to the top. Who sampled Bill Conti’s “Going The Distance” from the first Rocky film?
P. Diddy, back when he was still going by Puff Daddy, used a snippet in “Victory.”
Of course, we find samples in other genres too. Which R&B star sampled Henry Mancini’s “Pink Panther Theme?”
Beyonce, who starred in a 2006 Pink Panther remake, bridged the old and the new in her single “Check On It.”
And who knew that scores to some of America’s biggest movies would end up inspiring artists in other countries? Which international sensation sampled Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F,” the theme from Beverly Hills Cop?
Before he became well-known stateside, K-Pop king Psy used the sample in his song, “Champion.”
Who sampled Shirley Bassey’s theme to the James Bond flick Diamonds Are Forever?
Kanye West for “Diamonds From Sierra Leone.”
Though it wasn’t originally created for the Austin Powers film series, Quincy Jones’ catchy “Soul Bossa Nova” was adopted as the main theme. Who sampled the song and used the track’s video as an Austin Powers homage?
Ludacris featured the sample in his single, “Number One Spot.”
The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive,” featured in Saturday Night Fever, was sampled by…
Wyclef Jean for “We Trying To Stay Alive.”
Lots of hip hop artists were influenced by blaxploitation films. Who used a sample from Dennis Coffey’s main theme from the 1974 flick Black Belt Jones?
Legendary rapper LL Cool J included a snippet in his single, “Jingling Baby.” And a fun fact: This track also samples a cover of Coffey’s 1971 funky instrumental, “Scorpio.”
Tracks from Curtis Mayfield’s brilliant Superfly soundtrack have been sampled dozens of times. Who was one of the biggest stars to sample “Little Child Runnin’ Wild?”
Kanye West makes the list again, this time with “Flashing Lights.”