Sampling in hip-hop is perhaps one of the most common practices of the genre but often rappers shy away from taking on pop songs. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen though. This week, Jack Harlow took on Fergie's Glamorous for his new track First Class and it has us thinking about other rap songs that build themselves around modern pop tracks.
Jack Harlow - First Class
Interpolates Fergie's Glamorous
Jack Harlow delivered the second single from his forthcoming album Come Home The Kids Miss You and it's built around an interpolation of Fergie's 2006 hit Glamorous. Harlow has name-checked Fergie plenty of times in interview saying he loved her when he was growing up and now he gets the chance to pay tribute. The nostalgic single is already doing numbers on TikTok as Harlow continues his ascent to be one of the biggest rappers on the planet.
Latto - Big Energy
Samples Mariah Carey's Fantasy
Latto is having one of the biggest moments of her career right now with Big Energy which features the instrumental of Mariah Carey's Fantasy. The whole thing has now come full circle with Carey jumping on a remix of the track, showing her love for Latto. It's catapulted Big Energy into the Top 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and may make sure it's the song of the summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
Drake - Teenage Fever
Samples Jennifer Lopez's If You Had My Love
There was a point pre-Bennifer's reunion that Drake and J.Lo were rumoured to be a thing. More Life had plenty of near-interactions with the singer. She was originally meant to be singing on Get It Together but was later replaced by Jorja Smith. She did, however, appear in a sample of Teenage Fever which slows down the hook of If You Had My Love.
Drake - Pound Cake
Samples Ellie Goulding's Don't Say A Word
Dance producers love sampling Ellie Goulding's voice but she also gets used in the hip-hop world too. Goulding provides the ethereal backing on Pound Cake which is taken from Don't Say A Word which featured on her record Halcyon. The song is almost unrecognisable with the whole thing chopped and screwed for Drake but it's haunting nonetheless.
Kid Cudi - Make Her Say
Samples Lady Gaga's Poker Face
Kid Cudi had a hit in 2009 when he took on a very fresh Lady Gaga hit Poker Face and twisted it for Make Her Say. The song, also featuring Kanye West and Common, actually take the hook of a stripped, live version of Poker Face which Cudi then slices up for the chorus. To this day, it's one of the most charismatic songs he's ever put out.
Nicki Minaj - Your Love
Samples Annie Lennox's No More I Love You's
Nicki Minaj loves a sample but the pop/rap queen generally shies away from using other pop songs. Her first mainstream hit Your Love, however, works around the beat from Annie Lennox's massive ballad No More I Love You's. The song has since been sampled by everyone from Jason Derulo to Hailee Steinfeld, although no one does it quite like Minaj.
Eminem - Stan
Samples Dido's Thank You
Two years after Dido released her song Thank You, Eminem sampled the hook on his iconic track Stan. Dido's sample is so uninterrupted that she ends up sounding more like a feature than a sample. Still, it takes the melancholic song to a completely different place interweaving it in a dark, twisted story.
Jay-Z - Forever Young
Samples Alphaville's Forever Young
JAY-Z is no stranger to sampling, particularly when Kanye is the producer behind the song. Ye produced the closing track of Jay's Forever Young from The Blueprint III and used Alphaville's 1984 hit Forever Young as the hook. It doesn't use the original song, rather replacing Alphaville's vocals with Mr. Hudson. Forever Young became a mainstay of Jay's post Blueprint III live sets.
Brockhampton - Sunny
Samples Natalie Imbruglia's Torn
Natalie Imbruglia has perhaps unexpectedly weaved her way into the tapestry of modern hip-hop. Minaj gave her a shoutout on Playboi Carti's Poke It Out and Torn was sampled in Brockhampton's Saturation II cut Sunny. The elongated rap track takes the guitars from Torn and stretches them out to provide the beat's melodic backbone.
Lil Uzi Vert - That Way
Interpolates Backstreet Boys' I Want It That Way
We know Uzi is a sucker for nostalgia but we perhaps weren't expecting him to go into Backstreet Boys' songbook. He took on I Want It That Way singing a woozy rendition of the hook for 2020's The Way. Even the producer of the song Supah Mario was surprised when he heard Uzi's interpolation of the song.