75 Of The Best Hip-Hop Songs That Sample Marvin Gaye

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  • MarvinGaye
    Today, April 2, would have been the 75th birthday of the late legendary Marvin Gaye, one of the most influential and talented artists of his generation. His death 30 years ago yesterday was one of the biggest losses in American music history, but luckily for us, he left behind a legacy that has continued to be the gift that keeps giving. One of the most sampled men in hip-hop—alongside James Brown and George Clinton—Marvin's legacy has been filtered through the rap ranks for decades, with artists as diverse in content and time as Kool G Rap and Lil B flipping his songs to make beats. To commemorate what would have his 75th birthday, <em>XXL</em> pulled together a list of 75 of the greatest hip-hop songs that sample Marvin Gaye. <em>—<a title="danrys" href="https://twitter.com/danrys" target="_blank">Dan Rys</a>,<a title="mike" href="https://twitter.com/MichaelJCarlos" target="_blank"> Michael Carlos</a>, <a title="kyle" href="https://twitter.com/kylekramer" target="_blank">Kyle Kramer</a>, <a title="tim" href="https://twitter.com/timlarew" target="_blank">Tim Larew</a> and <a title="eric" href="https://twitter.com/ericthurm" target="_blank">Eric Thurm</a></em>
  • nwa_solo
    <h2>“8 Ball”</h2><b>Artist: </b>N.W.A. (Eazy E)<br /><b>Producer: </b>Dr. Dre<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1987<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Let's Get It On”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect:</b> Eazy E raps about listening to Marvin Gaye's <i>Greatest Hits</i>, and a snippet of “Let's Get It On” plays in the background.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope: </b>Think day-in-the-life tales about ratchet behavior in Compton are something new? Not a chance. This is a classic that helped launch the whole genre, and it's a great indicator of why Eazy E is many people's favorite member of N.W.A. (even if he explicitly points out on the song that Ice Cube writes his lyrics). With his high-strung delivery about getting wasted and doing coke, Eazy E is an immediately memorable figure. But it's the little details, like the three girls who reject him when he walks in the party because his breath stinks, or popping in the Marvin Gaye tape while he's driving, that make this song something special. <em>—KK</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3C2AabXqsmU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • jazzy jeff fresh prince
    <h2>"A Touch Of Jazz"</h2><b>Artist: </b>DJ Jazzy Jeff And The Fresh Prince<br /><b>Producers: </b>Dana Goodman<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1987<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"T Plays It Cool"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The backbone of this track borrows from Marvin's original, but the scratches from Jazzy Jeff take it to a whole new playing field.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> The Fresh Prince doesn't even rap on this, but we're including it anyway because Jazzy Jeff's scratches and the way he flips the beat—incorporating at least three other tracks as well—is something to behold. People wonder why Uncle Phil kept throwing Jazzy Jeff out of his house, but the reality was he just couldn't deal with the funk. At least not at the level that Jeff was bringing it. Salutes.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ztsEeIYf98c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • big-daddy-kane
    <h2>“Smooth Operator”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Big Daddy Kane<br /><b>Producer: </b>Big Daddy Kane<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1989<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Sexual Healing”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1982<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The sample can only be heard for a split second buried in the middle of the song, which makes it that much more rewarding to catch. At the 1:42 mark, you can hear Marvin sing the word “up” from the interlude that directly follows the line “Darling, you’re so great / I can’t wait for you to operate.”<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> From his 1989 album <i>It’s A Big Daddy Thing</i>, this song establishes Big Daddy Kane as a sex symbol and a bona fide player alongside tracks like “I Get the Job Done” and “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy.” Marvin Gaye might have been able to relate.<em> —MC</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/DrFcZLWV4bA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • the doc
    <h2>“The Formula”</h2><b>Artist: </b>The D.O.C.<br /><b>Producer: </b>Dr. Dre<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1989<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1971<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Dr. Dre strips the richness of “Inner City Blues” down to its basic break, transforming the original from a soul song to a G-funk beat.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Marvin Gaye’s music is perfect for many things, but rolling around in a car with the windows down might not be one them. On “The Formula,” The D.O.C. and Dre fix that.<em> —ET</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/RjCX9N-UZ8s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • ice_cube
    <h2>“Who’s The Mack?”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Ice Cube<br /><b>Producer: </b>Sir Jinx and The Bomb Squad<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1990<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“’T’ Stands For Trouble”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The slow-burning groove allows Cube to drop the casual flows that put him on the map in the first place.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Ice Cube flips a track Gaye originally made for the soundtrack album of a blaxploitation movie and uses it to back him on a tour of pimps, hustlers, and smooth-talkers who won’t kick facts.<em> —ET</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ko0llmBIELI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • gang-starr
    <h2>"Take A Rest"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Gang Starr<br /><b>Producers: </b>DJ Premier and Guru<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1990<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"T Plays It Cool"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The track is already moving full-bore when the Marvin sample sneaks in on the hook, and Preem's scratches make it stand out clearly.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> So many samples permeate this baby that it takes more than a minute to even find where Marvin fits in. No matter—this was Guru and Primo finding their groove and figuring out where their pocket was. Once they found it, they didn't look back, and here's a perfect starting point for that moment of magic.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/gwDro7NUPZc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • brand_nubian_babygrande_records
    <h2>“Meaning Of The 5%”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Brand Nubian<br /><b>Producer: </b>Brand Nubian<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1990<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“’T’ Stands For Trouble”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Brand Nubian get out of their own way, taking a loop from the Gaye original and just letting it ride.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Though “Meaning Of The 5%” is an interlude on <i>In God We Trust</i>, it manages the vocal sample-loop juxtaposition trick to drop some Five Percenter knowledge.<em> —ET</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KLep7CZyZns" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • big daddy kane
    <h2>"'Cause I Can Do It Right"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Big Daddy Kane<br /><b>Producer: </b>Big Daddy Kane<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1990<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Stubborn Kind Of Fellow"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1962<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>An iconic beat and hook that echoes through time, it provides a perfect Motown backing for Kane's typical braggodocio.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Kane pulled no punches back in the day; there's a reason he was one of the biggest influences on the early days of both Jay Z and Tupac. The drums turn the backing sample into a completely different animal, pushing things forward in a way that Gaye uses his vocals to do in the original. Check out the scratches in the hook—now <i>that's</i> some iconic production right there. Kane's discography isn't matched by many.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/MVnfZKbXeoE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Scarface
    <h2>"A Minute To Pray And A Second To Die"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Scarface<br /><b>Producers: </b>Crazy C, Scarface<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1991<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"What's Going On?"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1971<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Face lifts the party atmosphere at the very beginning of the track to boost the background of his hook (or as close to a hook as he gets), then chops it up further later on.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Scarface at his most lyrical, and his vivid storytelling best. At his height, it's hard to think of a more arresting voice, or one that can so simply and plainly lay out a story with tons of emotional depth. The track relies more heavily on Marvin's "Inner City Blues," but the "What's Going On?" sample is tougher to catch.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zIWYyzdj_Tc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • masta-ace
    <h2>"Go Where I Send Thee"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Masta Ace<br /><b>Producer: </b>Ice U Rock<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1991<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Save The Children"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1971<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Definitely a strange backing track for a hip-hop song, but it provides the framework for Ace to deliver over a funkified verse break.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> It's hard to figure out why Ace would have taken the hook to "Save The Children," but the real work comes in the dirty, nasty beat that backs up the verses, slathering on the funk while the Juice Crew member spits his own truth.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/TgHcpTuv6i4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Ice_Cube
    <h2>"Steady Mobbin"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Ice Cube<br /><b>Producers: </b>Boogiemen<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1991<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"After The Dance"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1976<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The sample is very brief, coming just behind Cube's initial mission statement, but it lays the groundwork before the funk takes over.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> It's Cube at his apex, exactly as you always wanted him, with one of the greatest hooks of his career. Cube takes no prisoners and makes sure to leave bodies in his wake. Da Lench Mob was not to be fucked with.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/MHZfO2gAEcg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • epmd
    <h2>"It's Going Down"</h2><b>Artist: </b>EPMD<br /><b>Producers: </b>Erick Sermon<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1992<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"I Want You"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1976<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>A powerhouse of a sample juiced up to Mark McGwire levels of ferocious power.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Everything here is so bass-heavy that it makes you want to throw a trash can through a glass window and deal with the consequences later—if they ever catch you. Blasting this through your headphones guarantees they never will.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IexPYuJdkIA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Too-short
    <h2>"I Want To Be Free (That's The Truth)"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Too $hort<br /><b>Producers: </b>Ant Banks<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1992<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"I Want You"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1976<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>A beautiful drum break that was just <i>dying</i> to be sampled and slowed down into the funky sex groove that we all know Too $hort was destined to make it into.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> The bass on this track is almost frightening; it's like something out of a nightmare that even Bootsy Collins didn't want to see the end of. Iconic Bay Area funk jams from an era as unforgiving as it was influential. The hook is something straight out of 1974, too, which only makes it all the better.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/u5NX6BXZJpM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • mc-ren
    <h2>“Same Ol' Shit”</h2><b>Artist: </b>MC Ren feat. Badd Newz<br /><b>Producer: </b>Tootie<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1993<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Let's Get It On”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect:</b> Marvin Gaye's “oohs” are punctuation throughout the song, and the opening part of the song plays in the background when Ren talks about playing Marvin Gaye.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope: </b>Perhaps MC Ren's most well-known single as a solo artist, “Same Ol' Shit” is an iconic piece of West Coast gangsta rap that somehow landed on the Billboard Hot 100. A harrowing, paranoid trip through the hood with intense sexual imagery, a vignette of a shot-up domino game, and some thoughts on getting money and getting out, it's expertly composed and brilliantly detailed. It's probably not at all the scene Marvin had in mind for "Let's Get It On," though. <em>—KK</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fJHMAsrrZYQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • ice-cube-speaks
    <h2>"What Can I Do?"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Ice Cube<br /><b>Producers: </b>88 X Unit<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1993<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"I Want You"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1976<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Takes just a bit of the song's original groove and chops it up into a heavy beat that sounds almost nothing like the original, creating a whole new lane for a song that had seemingly been sampled everywhere.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> It really is no coincidence that as soon as Cube stopped sampling Marvin he went into the movie business, right? At this point in his career, Cube could do just about everything, including buying a house next to Prince, as he boasts in this baller track. It's dark, but the beat makes it feel anything but.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KYRcRL3CLDQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • geto boys
    <h2>"Six Feet Deep"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Geto Boys<br /><b>Producers: </b>N.O. Joe<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1993<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"What's Going On"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1971<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The introduction interpolates Marvin's lyric "There's far too many of you dyin'" and frames the narrative.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> The crux of the song relies on The Commodores' "Easy," giving off a bittersweet vibe from the jump, and the lyrical theme backs up the musical feel. One of those times the Geto Boys took a step back to observe what was around them while stuck in the eye of the hurricane, and delivered a heartfelt plea to their peers.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jnAvW3zLnHw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • 8ball mjg
    <h2>"No Sellout"</h2><b>Artist: </b>8Ball And MJG<br /><b>Producers: </b>N/A<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1994<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"I Want You"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1976<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Slow them bongos alllllll the way down, and you've got a whole new ballgame on your hands. It's like jazz, but there's <i>way</i> too much slow-burning bounce on this bad boy to label it that.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> 8Ball and MJG have made a career out of proving that they could flow over anything, and this track is no different. The Memphis OG's hold no punches and serve up another deep-fried Southern classic, with the horns after each verse adding a touch that takes the place of the hook and doesn't switch up the cadence.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/xIUPM8AdVxA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • fat-joe
    <h2>“Envy”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Fat Joe<br /><b>Producer: </b>L.E.S.<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1995<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Sexual Healing”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1982<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>This song sounds like the producer just gave up and told Fat Joe: “Why don’t you just rap over the backing track to ‘Sexual Healing’?”<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Fat Joe decided that the best theme for a song sampling “Sexual Healing” was murder, inner-city crime, and incarceration instead of, I don’t know, SEX? The weird thing is, the contrast kind of works.<em> —MC</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/oPo8Sil02rY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • music-method-man
    <h2>“I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Method Man featuring Mary J. Blige<br /><b>Producer: </b>RZA/Diddy<br /><b>Release Year:</b> 1995<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“You’re All I Need To Get By”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1968<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Tammi Terrell’s vocals are replaced with Mary J. Blige’s and the instrumentation is replayed, but the effect is just as beautifully haunting as the original.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> This might be one of the best—and realest—hip-hop love songs of all time. It peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group and is undoubtedly responsible for thousands of childbirths.<em> —TL</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/PxXrSVliuLU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • bonethugs_l
    <h2>"1st Of Tha Month"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Bone Thugs-N-Harmony<br /><b>Producers: </b>U-Neek<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1995<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Sexual Healing"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1982<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The song is chopped enough so that you can't distinctly pick up the "Sexual Healing" progression, but the feel of the original remains.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Bone Thugs have always been known for their lush backing tracks, and this one fits straight into that tradition. Plus, that "1st of tha month" hook can get stuck in your head for days, always a hallmark of a higher-level Bone Thugs track.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4j_cOsgRY7w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • nas
    <h2>“Street Dreams (Remix)”</h2><b>Artist:</b> Nas featuring R. Kelly<br /><b>Producer: </b>Poke and Tone<br /><b>Release Year:</b> 1996<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Mercy Mercy Me”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1971<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>“Street Dreams” features a vocal flip of Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me,” R. Kelly crooning the hook effortlessly and paying homage beautifully to the original. The rest of the hook is reinvented, but the opening line and its melody are lifted from Gaye.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> The R. Kelly-assisted remix to “Street Dreams” was an excellent follow-up to the success of <i>It Was Written</i>, and the video—parts of which were shot in Vegas—remains poignant two decades later. It’s a personal record that dropped during a tumultuous time in hip-hop, and the tribute to the late Marvin Gaye added to its effect.<em> —TL</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_Qi2ZT8ckVE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • shaq-fu
    <h2>“Legal Money”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Shaquille O’Neal featuring Mobb Deep and Lord Tariq<br /><b>Producers: </b>Mobb Deep<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1996<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Mobb Deep sampling the bass line from a Marvin Gaye song for a Shaquille O’Neal backing track is awesome because it provides a totally legitimate excuse to reference Marvin Gaye’s legendary performance of the National Anthem at the <a title="allstar" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXiCVtPiMsM" target="_blank">1983 NBA All-Star Game</a>.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> So let’s be real here. This song is just straight hilarious.The first lyrics are “From Orlando to Queensboro,” which is a phrase that no human being has ever uttered before or since. Later in the song, Shaq compares himself to Biggie and says he’s reppin’ New Jersey. Why, Shaq? Why would the great Kazaam betray us like this?<em> —MC</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/h1LWc_adPHo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • biggie
    <h2>“My Downfall”</h2><b>Artist:</b> Notorious B.I.G. featuring DMC<br /><b>Producer: </b>Carlos Broady, Nashiem Myrick, Puff Daddy<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1997<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“You’re All I Need To Get By”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1968<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>“My Downfall” samples the melody of the hook in “You’re All I Need To Get By.” The female vocalist on the Biggie record harmonizes, “They pray, they pray, they pray, they pray...” – replacing “you’re all I need to get by...” - as DMC chants about enemies praying for his downfall.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> This was one of the handful of <i>Life After Death</i> cuts that dealt closely with the subject of feuding and subsequent paranoia, which obviously took on a deeper meaning in the midst of the posthumous release. Much like the “You’re All I Need To Get By” hook, the sampled melody in “My Downfall” is haunting and provides just the right vibe for the track.<em> —TL</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/32vdp3T5MGA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • mic-geronimo
    <h2>“Unstoppable”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Mic Geronimo<br /><b>Producer: </b>Pete Rock<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1997<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Poor Abbey Walsh”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Pete Rock sampling a Marvin Gaye song turns out to be a bit harder than one would expect.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Geronimo rhymes well on this one, but the real show is the Pete Rock smoothness, thanks in part to “Poor Abbey Walsh.”<em> —ET</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/aDXsuqwVH8w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • KOOLGRAP
    <h2>“Foul Cats”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Kool G Rap<br /><b>Producer: </b>Dr. Butcher and CJ Moore<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1998<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Poor Abbey Walsh”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The strings from “Poor Abbey Walsh” get looped quickly, contributing to the song’s orchestral quality.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> “Foul Cats” is a straight-up war report from Kool G, spinning a rhyme-dense tale of revenge for a fallen comrade.<em> —ET</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JEheu6LyFBc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • scarface2
    <h2>"What's Going On"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Scarface featuring A-G-2-A-KE<br /><b>Producers: </b>88-Keys<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1998<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"What's Going On?"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1971<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Marvin's hook on his most iconic song gets reinterpreted for Face's version.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> It's a laid back feel that doesn't feel laid back; Face and A-G spit venomous bars over a funkified groove, arriving back at Marvin's hook to ask the same question Gaye asked nearly three decades before.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/s4aKTuFrI8M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • meth_Wu
    <h2>"Break Ups To Make Ups"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Method Man featuring D'Angelo<br /><b>Producers: </b>Trackmasters<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1998<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Soon I'll Be Loving You Again"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1976<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The sample kicks in at the beginning of D'Angelo's hook to provide a little extra backbone as he floats over the guitar lines.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> D'Angelo might actually have been the second coming of Marvin anyway, and Meth's flow is never better than when it's paired with a smooth, filtered backing. If there was ever a hip-hop / soul duo we needed a full album from, there's evidence to suggest these two would do it best.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0iPFn8d7M3Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz - Make It Reign (1998)
    <h2>“Massive Heat”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Lord Tariq &amp; Peter Gunz feat. Kurupt &amp; Sticky Fingaz<br /><b>Producer: </b>Clark Kent<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1998<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“The Break In (Police Shoot Big)”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The heavy bass riff and <em>Peanuts Soundtrack</em>-style keys that provide the backing track are both in Gaye's soundtrack score original.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope: </b>Kurupt's great appearance and the hook about “gun-slinging niggas from L.A. to New York” makes this a kind of overlooked East Coast/West Coast reconciliation song. But, regional affiliations aside, this is hard-boiled '90s gangsta rap at its best, with threats about victims seeing the Titanic when they sleep with the fish and using garbage bags for lungs. Appropriately, the sample is from Marvin Gaye's soundtrack to <i>Trouble Man</i>, a movie full of elaborate robbery and murder schemes. Way to stick to the theme, guys. <em>—KK</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9jQOT54JFn0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • u-god
    <h2>“Bizarre”</h2><b>Artist: </b>U-God<br /><b>Producer: </b>Bink!<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1999<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Far Cry”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1981<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Gaye’s near-ethereal singing gets treated rough enough that it’s hard not to see RZA’s fingerprints on an album he executive produced.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> U-God sits back and lets his rich flow complement the soulfulness of the sample, creating a more contemplative solo Wu experience. “Far Cry” is notoriously unfinished, so its sampling is more of Bink! going off on a sketch by Gaye.<em> —ET</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/x1RubZhRqio" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • three-6-mafia-at-the-boost-mobile-rock-corps-03
    <h2>"Sippin' On Some Syrup"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Three 6 Mafia featuring UGK and Project Pat<br /><b>Producers: </b>DJ Paul and Juicy J<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2000<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Is That Enough"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1978<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The driving background behind Three 6's interpretation is much more subdued in Marvin's version, but turns what started as a sexual jam into a club banger—probably with similar effects.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> I mean, come on. This is the song that people most associate with Three 6 Mafia—their Magnum Opus, some might say, had they not gone on to win a Grammy for "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp"—and is one of the most iconic and influential Southern hip-hop songs of all time. Toss in a little UGK, and you've got 4 minutes of nothing but pure Southern rap royalty. Juicy's verse straight into Bun's slow drawl forever.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/lOWKGXpl9E0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • 50-cent
    <h2>"Ghetto Qu'ran"</h2><b>Artist: </b>50 Cent<br /><b>Producers: </b>Trackmasters<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2000<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Marvin's backing vocal and subtle groove gets augmented by 50's bouncing drums and a more pronounced bass, giving it more drive than the original.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Well the song itself is dope on music alone, but the lyrics are what probably led to a couple shootings amongst some of the hip-hop heavyweights in Queens. It's the track that got 50 labeled a snitch, and might have led to him getting shot nine times, as well as contributed to his feud with Ja Rule and Murder Inc. But, you know, the things you gotta do for hip-hop superstardom...<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/I34hn-vgbTc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • talib-kweli
    <h2>"The Proud"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Talib Kweli<br /><b>Producer: </b>Ayatollah<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2001<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Dream Of A Lifetime"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1970<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>This Marvin track is pretty much the last thing you'd want to listen to if you were a hip-hop fan—a slow, drawling ballad better suited for the Frank Sinatra set—but speed it up, and Kweli's got the backing he needs.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> The way Ayatollah chops up the word "success" throughout the beat teases the crux of the track perfectly, and Kweli over soul samples is always a home run. But the track itself is a deep reflection on American society and the death penalty, with the people of this country not coming out with the upper hand. Kweli turns the mirror back on his country, and the results aren't nearly as pretty as the sample.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HFSiM874Jxg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Usher12
    <h2>“Twork It Out”</h2><b>Artist:</b> Usher<br /><b>Producer: </b>Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2001<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“You Sure Love To Ball”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The only thing sampled here is the phrase, “Oh baby, you sure love to ball,” which is lifted from the title and basically every line of the Marvin Gaye track and implemented by Usher in the third verse of “Twork It Out.” And it’s more of a tribute than a sample, but Usher’s sultry rendition is well worth the mention.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> “Twork It Out” is one of those songs that came out too early in my life to have been the soundtrack to any intimate moments around the time of its release, but there were certainly times where I thought about girls to this song in fifth grade. It’s an <i>8701</i> classic and a precursor to the slow jam smashes that riddled <i>Confessions</i> a few years later.<em> —TL</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/II9XXaIAMsY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • ja_rule_pen
    <h2>“Mesmerize”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Ja Rule featuring Ashanti<br /><b>Producer: </b>Irv Gotti<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2002<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The instrumentation of this song really fits Ashanti’s voice well and provides something of a buffer between the listener and the gruffness of Ja Rule’s rap/singing.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Because Ashanti &amp; Ja were the Diana &amp; Marvin of the new milleni—I’m sorry, I couldn’t even get through that. This song is terrible [<em>Ed Note: I actually still like this song</em>], but I definitely felt like a thug when I requested the DJ play it at my middle school dance.<em> —MC</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/VcP96KbFIIU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • camron juelz santana
    <h2>“Let's Go”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Juelz Santana feat. Cam'ron<br /><b>Producer: </b>Heatmakerz<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2003<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Let's Get It On”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect:</b> Juelz basically just raps over a loop of the original song and uses the “let's get it on” to end several of his lines.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope: </b>Yeah this is probably kind of lazy and pretty blatant (although presumably expensive) album filler, but having the phrase “let's get it on” punctuate Juelz's threats to other dudes and come-ons to the ladies is the kind of half-brilliant idea that every rapper is allowed to pull from time to time and still have it work. Is there really any denying how great the simple opening of “You niggas dealing with a G from the block / Yeah it's me from the block / Quick to tell a nigga ('let's get it on') / But I don't really like to beef on the block” is? <em>—KK</em><br /><br /><iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:track:3NcNqy7ykDHZrIPIYdPiov" width="300" height="380" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"></iframe>
  • kanye_west_1
    <h2>"Spaceship"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Kanye West featuring Consequence and GLC<br /><b>Producers: </b>Kanye West<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2004<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Distant Lover"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The vocal kicks Kanye straight into his own hook, while the crooning provides the backbone for one of his most memorable early hooks.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> One of Kanye's very first iconic tracks lifts some of its most memorable lines—"Heaven knows" being chief among them—from Marvin's original, pushing them up a couple octaves to mask them and allowing Kanye to make them his own. There are so many quotable lines on this track that we probably ruined your entire day by including this one, didn't we?<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/wGM6N0qXeu4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • camron-globe-chain
    <h2>"Get Down"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Cam'ron<br /><b>Producer: </b>Chad Hamilton<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2004<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Life's Opera"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1985<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Dipset was always surprisingly effective at looping a quick, seconds-long sample and building an entire song out of it, and that's exactly what Killa does here.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> There will always be a debate about which album was Cam'ron's best, but for my money it's gotta be <i>Purple Haze</i>, and I don't care what the rest of y'all think. The track is so simple, and that's exactly what makes it so perfect; all you really need at the end of the day is something to ring in the beat, and let Killa do the rest. One of the standouts of his career, and a Dipset classic. It's, for better or for worse, the Diplomats' version of Jay's "Hard Knock Life," but it samples a much less annoying track.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pBGKAdS6dbU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • mos-def
    <h2>“Modern Marvels”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Mos Def<br /><b>Producer: </b>Minnesota<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2004<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Flyin' High (In The Friendly Sky)”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1971<br /><b>Sample Effect:</b> The Marvin Gaye track plays in the background throughout the entire song, and Mos Def explicitly addresses Marvin.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope: </b>A drifting, whisper-sung experiment of a song that explodes into a high-energy rap verse five minutes in, it's uniquely moving. It captures Mos Def's distinct sensibility and positions him as an ideological successor to Marvin Gaye (a connection that a recent mashup album, <i>Yasiin Gaye</i>, seized upon more thoroughly). It sounds dope in both sections, and Mos Def's raps are arresting. But more than that, it's one of the most thoughtful interactions with a Marvin sample that exists. “If Marvin was alive now, wow, what would I say to him?” Mos asks before posing some rhetorical questions for his audience: “When he said 'save the babies' was we listening? / When he said 'mercy, mercy' did he really know / That decades later we would still be killing folks?” <em>—KK</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CFDqnCOx0ks" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • fel sweetenberg
    <h2>“Time”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Fel Sweetenberg<br /><b>Producers: </b>Fel Sweetenberg and Dave Ghetto<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2004<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Time To Get It Together”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1978<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The producers keep the funk of the original song and get your head nodding as Fel spins yarns about his childhood.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Fel never really made a name for himself in the industry or found a wide audience, but this song is like finding a needle in a haystack. The great thing about rap is that sometimes some dude you’ve never even heard of before can drop a killer track and get you to stop and listen.<em> —MC</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/SVr4mkhnMrE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Common
    <h2>“Love Is...”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Common<br /><b>Producer: </b>J Dilla<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2005<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“God Is Love”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1970<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>J Dilla and Common use a lesser-known message song from Marvin for their own message song about the importance of love and faith. This definitely works in a subtler fashion than using something more famous like “What’s Going On?”<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Common is at the peak of his powers on this track, blending socially conscious rap with smooth soul samples for an ambience that perfectly fits the tone of his progressive lyrics.<em> —MC</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/cDNBfj7bldQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • little brother
    <h2>"War"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Little Brother<br /><b>Producer: </b>9th Wonder<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2005<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Anna's Song"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1978<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>9th Wonder has always had a soft spot for Marvin, and his flip of this groove—originally much, <i>much</i> more laid back—shows how he can make something out of literally anything.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> What will it take for us to get Little Brother back together? The underground cried out for something like them, and Phonte and Big Pooh delivered over 9th's alchemic beats. Maybe having too much dopeness isn't good for our collective health. They must be doing us a favor. Right?<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/7uV2nqh7uzY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • joe-budden
    <h2>"I Want You Back"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Joe Budden<br /><b>Producers: </b>N/A<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2005<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"I Want You"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1976<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Budden and bongos. Hiyoooo! The bodiless vocals that come in around the hook add an eerie quality, too.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Ooh, but when you add the handclaps on it, this beat is just fire. And the singular synth line that rises above it all brings East Coast Joey in direct contact with that G-Funk nastiness that defined an era. The biggest difference is the bongo backbeat, but that's what makes this just different enough to stand out on its own. If only you could hear him a little more clearly.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/OxGMECzLL2Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • BEANIE SIGEL
    <h2>“Flatline”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Beanie Siegel featuring Peedi Crakk<br /><b>Producer: </b>Boola<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2005<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Poor Abbey Walsh”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Boola turns Gaye’s sparse pianos into the theme song to a drive by, adding a note of sorrow to “Flatline.”<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Beanie is a true gangster, menacing as he recounts, not a fictional murder, but a real one that he just didn’t get the chance to commit.<em> —ET</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/svEg1CFHQlg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • yo_gotti
    <h2>“Gangsta Party”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Yo Gotti featuring Bun B and 8Ball<br /><b>Producer: </b>Carlos Broady<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2006<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Far Cry”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1981<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Gaye is left mostly in the background, but the presence of “Far Cry” adds just enough flavor to an otherwise standard beat.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b>  “Far Cry” in a Yo Gotti track called “Gangsta Party”? It’s pretty amazing that this exists at all.<em> —ET</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/viLcr2jjwK8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • jim-jones
    <h2>"Don't Push Me Away"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Jim Jones and Rell<br /><b>Producer: </b>Mercury<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2006<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Distant Lover"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>A simple croon from Marvin pitched up a couple octaves in the typical Dipset style, making it almost into a parody but keeping some semblance of its self intact.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> It almost reads like a Dipset-By-Numbers track, or something that would've wound up on Cam'ron's cutting room floor. I'm gonna be biased—Jimmy was always my least favorite Dipset member, so this track doesn't strike a particularly strong chord with me. The best thing that can be said, from my side, is that when Rell comes through on that hook, it's a welcome relief.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QPhVgq-T81I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Snoop-Nas
    <h2>"Play On Playa"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Nas featuring Snoop Dogg<br /><b>Producers: </b>Scott Storch<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2006<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"After The Dance"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1976<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>A groovy, low-energy guitar line over a punchy bass with places to go laces Nas and Snoop with a smooth platform to spin their tales.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> It's the exact type of subtle sounds you want to hear late-period Snoop flow over, and Nas' gruff-in-comparison voice spins his mafia movie tales to perfection. Whenever you get two of the greatest to ever do it together on one song, it's bound to be a win.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JOCrLkdImwg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • lupe-fiasco
    <h2>"Make Sure"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Lupe Fiasco<br /><b>Producers: </b>N/A<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2006<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"T Plays It Cool"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>A classic introduction, and one that Lupe lifts here, before speeding up the actual beat that drops afterward.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> This track was apparently supposed to appear on Lupe's debut album, and it's a shame that it didn't; the track is Lupe at his cleanest, leanest and most agile, almost disregarding the beat and just doing his own thing, with his flow conquering everything. This is the Lupe we all fell in love with back in the day, and the one that anyone who is still paying attention wishes would come back, at least for a cameo or two.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/yItGgmMeyx4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • stay in school concert 181007
    <h2>"Shots Fired"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Papoose featuring Bun J and Stat Quo<br /><b>Producers: </b>Stay Getting Productions<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2006<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Just Say, Just Say," Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Sometimes a simple horn and a longing moan can be enough to carry an entire song, and this is one of those times.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> There was a time before Papoose was more than a soundbite—if you listen closely to what he's spitting these days, outside the Jay Z boasts, he's still got bars for days—and this catches him at some of his ignorant best. PAP-POOSE! Don't sleep on Stat Quo either; his venom is just as potent.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/gCtnP5rfq1E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • jay z
    <h2>"American Dreamin"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Jay Z<br /><b>Producers: </b>Diddy, Sean C., Mario Winans<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2007<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Soon I'll Be Loving You Again"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1976<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>It's basically the entire Marvin track with a few extra percussion flourishes tossed in for good measure.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> At the height of Jay's return to the mafioso persona he developed on <i>Reasonable Doubt</i>, he merely flows with his re-adopted persona over the instrumental to Marvin's original. But this album wasn't about Jay's originality, but how well he can fit a character, and in that lens the track works perfectly.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_c76-2qotfU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • hi-tek-talib-kweli
    <h2>“Time”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Hi-Tek featuring Talib Kweli and Dion<br /><b>Producer: </b>Hi-Tek<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2007<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Time To Get It Together”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1978<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Hi-Tek eliminates the funkiness of the original recording and crafts a smooth R&amp;B cadence accented by Marvin sweetly cooing the word “Time.”<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Talib does what Talib does. When the production is as good as it is here, the man’s prolific ability to write rhymes is unmatched. This song builds and builds until Talib delivers his rallying call: “It’s time to channel Marvin.”<em> —MC</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iuc1j_IMYJM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • redman
    <h2>“Gimme One”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Redman<br /><b>Producer: </b>Pete Rock<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2007<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“The Break In (Police Shoot Big)”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect:</b> Marvin Gaye's jangly keys pop up throughout.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope: </b>What better way to announce your long-awaited return (<i>Red Gone Wild: Thee Album </i>was Redman's first album in six years) than with a Pete Rock-produced song with a sample that's a soundtrack for breaking in and fucking things up? Not every line here is a return to form—you shouldn't be name-dropping Botox, period, let alone without rhyming with anything—but it's hard not to respect the brilliance of a comeback that begins with the claim "'Back in Business' like EPM/D, whips I drive, I gotta TV'em.” <em>—KK</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FQ7BAtln-WY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Big-Sean
    <h2>"Mr. T"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Big Sean<br /><b>Producer: </b>Schoolboyzmusic<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2007<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Don't Mess With Mr. 'T'"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Can we get Sean over steady soul production all the time? The samples gently rises and swings, providing the perfect backbone for any type of hook—and Sean just happens to borrow one from the Marvin sample he mines.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> If recent history has told us anything, it's that Big Sean shines on soul tracks. This was an early indication, with the Detroit spitter trying out some melodic phrasing while riding over the beat. He's not the most polished, but he's never pretended to be, especially early on. But the quick section at the end, where Sean gives way to Marvin's original pleading, makes you want to go back to the source, rather than hit rewind.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0Woy6K_ZdoM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • jazz-liberatorz-cool-down
    <h2>“Cool Down”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Jazz Liberatorz featuring Raashan Ahmad<br /><b>Producer: </b>Jazz Liberatorz<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2007<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Trouble Man”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Marvin’s vocals open the song by establishing a soulful feel before the Jazz Liberatorz, a French trio, deliver their verses.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> The Liberatorz also sample the bassline from A Tribe Called Quest’s “Buggin Out” and just create a really relaxed, chill sound that’s reminiscent of what The Roots would do a couple of years later on <i>undun.</i><em> —MC</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6RZfixO2_aw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • JayElectronica
    <h2>“Dealing”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Jay Electronica<br /><b>Producer: </b>N/A<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2008<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Sexual Healing”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1982<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The lyrical sample of Marvin singing “you’re dealing” recurs throughout the track to provide the song with a catchy hook as well as its title.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> The enigmatic Jay Electronica always spits cryptic verses with a nuance that can border on infuriating. This track is no different as he manipulates the term “dealing” to mean both the act of selling drugs and struggling with life’s problems while neither passing judgment nor bestowing praise upon those who sling rock to alleviate their poverty.<em> —MC</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/lRT5Se17BIA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • freeway_
    <h2>“Love 2 Ball”</h2><b>Artist:</b> Freeway<br /><b>Producer: </b>Dillemma<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2008<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“You Sure Love To Ball”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The horns from Gaye’s “You Sure Love To Ball” are sampled and laced with hollow drums to create the backbone of Freeway’s “Love 2 Ball.” Gaye’s vocals are also lifted and redelivered with a different melody by a female vocalist, echoed by Freeway in the hook.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> While paying tribute to Gaye, Freeway cooked up a smooth record letting listeners know how he “Loves 2 Ball.” The third verse and outro are especially entertaining; Freezer is a master of the serious records, but it’s clear he wasn’t afraid to let loose and have fun with this one.<em> —TL</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/WbvuFZhl1DA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • mos def 2
    <h2>“Workers Comp”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Mos Def<br /><b>Producer: </b>Mr. Flash<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2009<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“If This World Were Mine”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1967<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The track is built on “If This World Were Mine,” speeding up the love ballad to say something more complicated.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Mos Def lets himself run wild, connecting love, the 9-to-5 grind, and the rap game all in one track, tied together by Gaye.<em> —ET</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/wIObbewcMto" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Mobbdeep
    <h2>"M.O.B."</h2><b>Artist: </b>Mobb Deep<br /><b>Producer: </b>Havoc<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2009<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Funk Me"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1981<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>One of the rare times when a Marvin beat is actually slowed down, which actually takes the funk <i>out</i> of the groove.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Prodigy is a natural over a beat like this, flowing with all the gangsta he can muster and pulling it off with flying colors. The beat can get a little off-kilter and wobbly at times, but the verses are tight as a George Clinton rhythm section.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/AfA14kb5iCw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • krit_10
    <h2>"They Got Us"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Big K.R.I.T.<br /><b>Producers: </b>N/A<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2010<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Distant Lover"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>K.R.I.T. augments his classic hip-hop drums with a single soulful cry from Marvin that loops through the verses.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> This is lyrical K.R.I.T. at his finest, before he got caught too far up in his own production and wound up pumping out the same song 15 times on a 20 track mixtape. A simple soul loop, a platform for his real life, evocative lyrics, and no frills and no round-robin hooks shoved down people's throats. When K.R.I.T. does things simply, it's almost always for the best.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-ozEnxFuBW0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • styles_p
    <h2>"Pretty Little Thing"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Styles P<br /><b>Producer: </b>Green Lantern<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2010<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"I Met A Little Girl"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1978<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Speed up any Marvin track and you've got yourself the perfect backing track, and when it's such a ubiquitous phrase like "pretty little thing," it's a surprise more people haven't flipped it.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Styles has had some trouble gaining solo traction after The LOX, but Lantern laced him with the perfect baseline with this quick Marvin sample. He doesn't try to do much, mostly because he doesn't have to, but fills in the gaps with smart, evocative lyrics that connect across the board.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/7bSqbjkNblk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • pimp c
    <h2>“Love 2 Ball”</h2><b>Artist:</b> Pimp C featuring Chamillionaire<br /><b>Producer: </b>Steve Below<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2010<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“You Sure Love To Ball”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: “Love 2 Ball” features another vocal sample from “You Sure Love To Ball,” a unique flip of the impossibly cool and ubiquitous title phrase. Where Gaye’s is smooth and soulful, though, the sample in the Pimp C track is edgy and southern, implemented creatively to set the tone from the jump. </b><br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> “Love 2 Ball” was included on Pimp C’s third studio album, his first released posthumously. Featuring fellow Houston native Chamillionaire, it’s a hard-hitting party anthem, but not necessarily a feel-good one. The tone is eerie, and given Pimp C’s untimely passing and the posthumous release of the song, it’s somehow fitting.<em> —TL</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/goDci6G1PSY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Statik1
    <h2>"Come Around"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Talib Kweli, Royce Da 5'9" and Termanology<br /><b>Producer: </b>Statik Selektah<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2010<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Sparrow"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1978<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>A lot of Marvin's genius came in his subtlety, and that's exactly the vein Kweli and Statik attack on this track.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Sometimes a beat doesn't need to be that hard to make a fantastic hip-hop song, and this is a case in point. Kweli carries the beginning and sets the tone—"I'm a student of Marvin"—before Royce and Termanology come through to bless the beat over Statik's scratches and Marvin's Miles-esque horn section.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iUhYGrC3elA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • theophilus_electru_0
    <h2>"Light Years"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Theophilus London<br /><b>Producers: </b>N/A<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2010<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"A Funky Space Reincarnation"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1978<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Theo lifts Marvin's vocal lines for the beginning over Alicia Meyers' "I Want To Thank You," which does most of the heavy lifting.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Uh, holy shit. Is this a rap record or a funk record? Theophilus doesn't even try to mask the groove he's going for on this one, stepping more into a Raphael Saadiq lane than an Ice Cube one. The sample owes more to "I Want To Thank You" than it does to Marvin, but the feeling remains the same, and Marvin's words frame the narrative that comes afterward.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-c2IPEKNt0E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Kanye-West
    <h2>“Christmas In Harlem”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Kanye West featuring Teyana Taylor, Cyhi Da Prynce, Cam’Ron, Pusha T and Jim Jones<br /><b>Producer: </b>Hit-Boy<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2010<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Mercy Mercy Me”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1971<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>“Christmas in Harlem” features a replayed sample of the hook on “Mercy Mercy Me,” the mellow chords creating a smooth, hopeful melody that makes for the perfect loop.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> “Christmas In Harlem” was one of those tracks released as part of Kanye’s magical GOOD Friday series so that alone makes it an important part of rap history. It’s a warm, nostalgia-inducing record, and Jim Jones’ adlibs gave a whole new meaning to the holiday.<em> —TL</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bq1POyzBNF0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • big-krit
    <h2>"If I Should Die"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Big K.R.I.T.<br /><b>Producers: </b>Big K.R.I.T.<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2010<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"If I Should Die Tonight"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>One of Marvin's most emotional tracks gets an update by Krizzle, who keeps the majority of it intact to spin his own heart-wrenching ode.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Consider it the same song 2.0, with more than 30 years of history in between. When K.R.I.T. keeps things simple, he's clearly one of the most soulful and promising rappers in the game; when he gets too complicated, he loses himself. This is the K.R.I.T. the people are crying out for on his sophomore album, and this is the one we all hope he can get back to, if only he can clear samples like these.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/rUlpbBtu4tU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Rick-Ross
    <h2>"Cassette Deck"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Rick Ross featuring Bun B, Slim Thug and DJ Scream<br /><b>Producer: </b>Harry Fraud<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2013<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Falling In Love Again"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1978<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>A classic soul-funk groove that feels a little awkward in Ross' hands, but that provides the perfect counter-balance to the Southern stylings on display.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> A rarity with Ross carrying a Harry Fraud beat alongside a couple down-South OGs, but it still works in a swampy, surprising way. Ross isn't the star here; that honor would go to Bun, who could flow over anything and still sound like the powerhouse that he is. Thug's drawl comes in at the perfect cadence as well.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ZJif9Cvw6EE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Fabolous
    <h2>“Leaving You”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Fabolous<br /><b>Producer:</b> Sonaro<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2011<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Just To Keep You Satisfied”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>“Leaving You” speeds up and chipmunk-ifies Gaye’s vocals from the hook’s first line in “Just To Keep You Satisfied,” and the key-driven melody is sampled as well. The result is a soulful hook bookending Fab’s characteristically punchline-heavy bars<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> <i>The S.O.U.L. Tape</i> was Fabolous’s last really well-received projects, and the soulful “Leaving You” was definitely one of its standout cuts. It’s made up of equal parts heart and attitude, and it’s a nice flip of a classic record.<em> —TL</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mLeNak5Zob8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • TI1
    <h2>“The Introduction”</h2><b>Artist: </b>T.I.<br /><b>Producer: </b>DJ Toomp<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2012<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Trouble Man”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>T.I. uses the sample as inspiration, characterizing himself as a Trouble Man and attacking his struggles with the law and the time he spent in prison prior to the song’s release.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> T.I. does a great job of re-introducing himself and sets the tone for <i>Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head </i>to be a return to form as his first full-length release after being incarcerated. Plus, this is just catchy as hell. And who can't relate, at least sometimes, to the hook, "Trouble Man / I'm always in trouble, man"?<em> —MC</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/xsp3tlJMt5U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • lil b
    <h2>“Oakland Tech”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Lil B<br /><b>Producer: </b>N/A<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2012<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Let's Get It On”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect:</b> A sped-up version of the Marvin Gaye song plays on the entire backing track.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope: </b>A very #rare meeting of minds between Marvin and the Based God, this is Lil B in straightforward lyrical mode, rhyming in the cadence he gets when his based freestyles are at their most structured and rap-focused. It's by no means an essential part of the Lil B opus, but it's a great showcase of his talents and his soul-baring worldview, particularly with the early salvo of “Talking to you I'ma tell you what I feel inside / A whole lot of pain and bitch a whole lot of pride.” <em>—KK</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iFeAFn7Vq98" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • sirmichaelrocks
    <h2>“Too Late”</h2><b>Artist:</b> Sir Michael Rocks featuring Chance The Rapper<br /><b>Producer: </b>The Gift<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2012<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Just To Keep You Satisfied”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>“Too Late” features a chopped vocal sample from “Just To Keep You Satisfied” that occurs about two thirds of the way through the record. The “Ooh baby” chant opens “Too Late” and then is looped in the background the rest of the way through.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> This was one of the more low-key Chance features of the slew of them that dropped throughout 2012, but it’s the first collaboration between the two Chicagoans and another example of Chance’s ability to flex on any instrumental.<em> —TL</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mLeNak5Zob8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • juicy j
    <h2>"Still Hustlin"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Juicy J featuring Project Pat<br /><b>Producer: </b>Crazy Mike<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2012<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Symphony"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1973<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>The string section sample makes much more sense for Marvin than for Juicy, but you gotta switch things up somehow, right?<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Juicy over a string quartet? Who knew that'd work? It's not a classic Juicy track, but that's irrelevant here, as the Trippy one and Project Pat make the best of the breakbeat behind them, using it to jump and pop in a way that the violins can't provide.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5x_nFncr7bI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • youngbuck
    <h2>"Rage"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Young Buck featuring Marvin Gaye<br /><b>Producer: </b>N/A<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2013<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Anger"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1978<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Marvin's soulful plea beautifully allows Buck the leeway to go full-Southern-throttle on this track.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Buck was still in prison when he dropped this track, and he was barely out a day when he dropped its outstanding visuals. Buck is so full of power and menace on this that would have sounded like a classic if it came a decade earlier; as it stands now, it's a forgotten gem that will hopefully one day be re-entered into Buck's formidable legacy. He uses the Marvin track's natural bounce to jump all over the verses, and allows the soul man to handle the counterbalance on the hook.<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GHx03bCNOFA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • dre dog i hate you with a passion
    <h2>“Powda 4 The Hoes”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Dre Dog (Andre Nickatina) feat. Black C<br /><b>Producer: </b>Reg, T.C., Race<br /><b>Release Year: </b>1995<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“I Heard It Through The Grapevine”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1968<br /><b>Sample Effect:</b> The “bum bada bum bum bum” keys that play throughout crop up right before the vocals come in on “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.”<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope: </b>This was on Andre Nickatina's last album as Dre Dog, which was also his highest-charting effort until the 2010s, and it's a master class in laid back drugs-and-girls rap. Dre talks about how his '69 Cutlass is his favorite car; as it happens, that's probably what more than a few people were driving when they heard this sample for the first time in the late 1960s. <em>—KK</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jQFa_y4t54o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • yasiin-gaye-artwork
    <h2>“Inner City Travellin’ Man”</h2><b>Artist: </b>Yasiin Gaye<br /><b>Producer: </b>Amerigo Gazaway<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2014<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1971<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Amerigo Gazaway leaves most of “Inner City Blues” on the table for this mashup with Mos Def’s “Travellin’ Man.”<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> The Gaye original is a classic, but “Inner City Travellin’ Man” uses the soulful backing instrumental (and some vocal samples from Gaye) to improve on the DJ Honda and Mos Def original. Gazaway lets two artists from different generations bemoaning the state of the American city commune.<em> —ET</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/I7e5hfEpcMg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Big KRIT UMG
    <h2>"Life's A Gamble"</h2><b>Artist: </b>Big K.R.I.T.<br /><b>Producers: </b>9th Wonder<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2013<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>"Life Is A Gamble"<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1972<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>K.R.I.T. grabs the vocal sample and loops it for the backing of his hook, leaving BJ The Chicago Kid to croon over the top.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Low-key soul, BJ The Chicago Kid at his absolute apex, overly-earnest vocals and K.R.I.T. flowing effortlessly—this is a standout of K.R.I.T.'s recent output. And his entire second verse is particularly arresting, ending with the line, "Lord, I pray I make it big this time..."<em> —DR</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/WBiAn17H9Iw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • lil b
    <h2>“Appreciate You”</h2><b>Artist:</b> Lil B<br /><b>Producer: </b>N/A<br /><b>Release Year: </b>2014<br /><b>Song Sampled: </b>“Come Live With Me Angel”<br /><b>Sample Release Year: </b>1976<br /><b>Sample Effect: </b>Gaye’s vocals are understated and subtle throughout “Come Live With Me Angel.” “Appreciate You” samples his “I wanna be your lover” phrase that’s repeated throughout the original and laces it in different sections of the revamped instrumental.<br /><b>Why The Song Is Dope:</b> Say what you want about Lil B, but he doesn’t get enough credit for paying homage to classics. Granted, he’s released tens of thousands of tracks at this point in his career, and probably has no recollection of this one, but “Appreciate You” is a really nice flip of “Come Live With Me Angel” and B’s bars are as entertaining as ever.<em> —TL</em><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/E5qLjqfc5mo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>